Buried Treasure Alert: FIND ME GUILTY

Sidney Lumet’s FIND ME GUILTY was in and out of theatres so fast, people probably think it went straight to DVD. It’s a mob movie without the cool violence and a courtroom drama with dialogue taken from the actual trial, which makes it sound less exciting than an oral report on the history of carpets.
It’s also known as the film where Vin Diesel wears a wig to try and prove he can act. Let me address that first. Anyone who saw Diesel close the deal in the film BOILER ROOM already knows he can act. He’s often a wildly charismatic presence who gets a lot of expressive range out of his gravel voice. He’s very good here as a mobster who decides to defend himself (against the wishes of his wise guy friends) in the largest mob trial in history.
And the wig looks good on him. Not only did I quickly accept it, I thought the hair benefitted Diesel, adding age allowing for a more expressive performance. I’ll put that wig right up there with Tom Selleck’s moustache. It was a smart choice.

FIND ME GUILTY makes for a perfect Saturday Night rental, where all you want to do is sit back and be entertained. The story plays like a more realistic MY COUSIN VINNIE with Diesel discrediting witness after witness and throwing the prosecution’s case all out of balance.
Instead of Marisa Tomei, the sidekick here is a fellow lawyer, played by Pete Dinklage (THE STATION AGENT). He knocks yet another great role right out of the park, perfecting balancing his frustration and admiration over Diesel’s courtroom tactics. Annabella Sciorra also steals the film from Diesel for a moment during a jailhouse visit.
Diesel found himself a plum role in FIND ME GUILTY, and he’s more entertaining here (without trying to look cool) than he’s ever been. The film (and the wig) succeed far better than you expect. Case dismissed.


Blogger Humby said...

while i agree that this movie is far better than it was given credit for, i would hardly call it a "buried treasure". it is a decent film with good performances.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

It's a buried treasure because when it was in theatres, it was passed over for THE PINK PANTHER and BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2. Now, people walk through the video store shelves, and this is overlooked by lesser films like YOU, ME & DUPREE and NACHO LIBRE. If somebody was to rent FIND ME GUILTY, they would be delighted with their selection.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Humby said...

"overlooked" sure...
a "buried treasure" implies a great or even really good film (aka a "treasure") that no one saw in the theaters.

on such example from this year is A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS which is one of the very best movies that i have seen this year and it made a hair over $500,000 at the box office.

maybe i am just being picky, but it is still fun to argue...

6:13 PM  

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