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Festivale Winter 1997

Absolute Power

She's beautiful, young, rich, and drunk. He's older, powerful, and a brute. He turns sex into torture and she defends herself. He cries for help, and she dies.

It's a woman's nightmare -- a man she knows and trusts hits her, hurts her, ignores her fear (and human rights) and when she tries to defend herself, she is punished. She dies. And no-one comes to her aid.

She is killed, and the world watches, a little horrified, but unmoving.

If Clint Eastwood won't defend you, what chance do you have? Especially since this film concerns itself with the fate of the unmoving man behind the mirror (a jewel thief played by Eastwood), not the victim.

movie poster, Absolute Power, Festivale film review
Movie poster, Absolute Power, Festivale film review

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Eastwood directs an able case in this crime-political intrigue film. Ed Harris gives his usual sterling performance as the super-smart detective -- if you haven't been paying attention to this actor you have missed quite a lot of good cinema.

Hackman is immensely believable as an untrustworthy president of the United States.

America has embraced the fact that their idols are false and Hollywood is trotting out cover-ups and sex crimes as fast as the cameras can roll. Why not? The essence of tragedy is the great one, brought down by a single tragic character flaw. Except that in this film, the president of the US is a grasping, vicious, selfish … well, he has more than one character flaw.

We do not feel the loss of the young woman. We do not experience the profound guilt of the man who could have saved her. The one person who feels guilt is too far from the camera, we do not share his pain. What this film offers in possibilities, Eastwood does not explore.

There aren't really any surprises in this film -- it's formula all the way, but well enough played.

Click here to buy films from one of the online stores in Festivale's on-line shopping mall by Ali Kayn
Gene Hackman also appears in The Replacements, Twilight, Antz
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Just the facts:

Title: Absolute Power (1997)
Written by: based on the novel by David Baldacci, screenplay by William Goldman
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Produced by:
Clink Eastwood, Michael Maurer, Tom Rooker, Karen S. Spiegel
Edited by: Joel Cox
Director of Photography: Jack N. Green

The Players: Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Clint Eastwood, Scott Glenn, Judy Davis
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.

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Filed: 2-July-1997 : Last updated: Nov-2000
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