I’m not going to review it because I believe and I certainly hope that he’s the only idiot to have not appreciated this film until now. And he did appreciate it. This film holds up beautifully, except maybe for the synth over the opening credits. This movie could have gone wrong in a lot of ways, so I have to give credit to the brilliant director (Barry Levinson) who treated the subject so tenderly. He doesn’t go directly for the heart strings, he doesn’t’ cloud the relationship with a lot of outside help. He creates a bond and lets his two actors shine. And they do. The movie may be a little off-kilter in some places but Dustin Hoffman never is. His performance I think is the best of his career (the Academy agreed). Tom Cruise could easily have faded into the background of such a performance but instead he also delivers one of his best, a raw and unsentimental portrayal of a man deeply layered in pain, confusion, and selfishness. Despite the inherent heaviness, this movie manages to pull us in not with easy tears, but with well-earned laughs.
And so Sean’s education continues.