Today is a day for celebration. For the past 6 weeks, I was unemployed, let go by my previous employer due to right sizing and was cast out into the world of the struggling job market. While my woes of 6 weeks being unemployed is miniscule compared to that of others out there, it wasn’t fun to say the least. But today, I am back in the workforce, back doing the work I enjoy doing. I was motivated by a higher power, one that was there for me when times got tough and something that I can turn to in my greatest need. The film Glengarry Glen Ross was the guiding light in the midst of the all resumes submitting and interviews, it was there to give me motivation. That and my group of friends and family were there to support me, which I will thank them later. For now, this being a movie blog, is where I can show some appreciation.
David Mamet’s award-winning play about a group of desperate real estate agents comes to the big screen from director James Foley. In a role created specifically for the movie, Alec Baldwin appears as a sales motivator, informing the group of hard-luck salesmen that they must compete in a sales contest where the losers will be fired. The agents work their same tired leads, until one hatches a scheme to burglarize the office, steal the leads, and sell them to a rival. Featuring a cast that includes Al Pacino as the office’s sales leader, Jack Lemmon as an elderly loser, Alan Arkin and Ed Harris as frustrated salesmen, Kevin Spacey as the harassed office manager, and Jonathan Pryce as a client, Glengarry Glen Ross is, at its core, a character study about a group of men whose time has passed. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
Man, this is a great movie. Director James Foley brought together some of the most amazing talent together for a film that looks at a group of men who are slowly withering away in a world that is moving much faster than them. Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin and Kevin Spacey all come together to deliver that beautiful gravitas that makes this one of the greatest films around. To see this talent come together and feed of one another is exciting to say the least. From old time actors that showcase the struggle of competing with the nicely contrasted younger actors in a world of fast paced selling is strong juxtaposition of the acting gap between them. It is at the core of the story, a glimpse of men slowing down and not being able to compete in the world they live in.
Amazing acting, a fantastic story by Mamet, and tightly directed scenes from Foley produce a film that is both complex, but incredibly engaging. Its the sort of film that we would dismiss sometimes, one where the selling point of the film is the cast and the story is just generally there. Glengarry Glen Ross uses these actors to deliver these biting and intense lines of dialog that brings the movie to life. A story about old timers trying to make it in the sales business, the lines are said with this joy and intensity from the actors on screen. At times, the dialog might seem hammy or a bit grandiose, but the way it is conveyed to us is the selling point of the film. It is believable and earnest to the point that we feel sympathetic for all involved. We connect with them on a level that we couldn’t in most films.
There is one thing I want to leave this post with and that is the seminal monolog that is the hallmark of Mamet’s screenplay. If you have seen the movie, you know exactly what I am talking about. This is the monolog that got me through the unemployment, if only cause it takes brass balls.