A rare serving of adept regional indie cinema, Ira Sachs’s film uses its Memphis milieu as setting and as character—the film is waist-deep in country-blues insouciance quietly resisting the onslaught of early-millennium consumer homogenization. At its center is a legendary record producer (Rip Torn) as tyrannical as he is magnetic, enjoying the autumnal awards-ceremony phase of his career and his Muscovite trophy girlfriend (Dina Korzun), who at first blush seems merely a fastidiously sexed-up, lank-haired bottle blonde. But she’s the movie: Astounded by her affluent lifestyle, and hyper-aware of how easily she could lose it, Korzun’s lost soul tiptoes on eggshells in virtually every scene, searching for significances that aren’t there. Korzun, unforgettable as the single-mom émigré in Pawel Pawlikowski’s Last Resort, is perfectly cast—pretty but also plain, dedicated to beauty-shop artifice yet fiercely intelligent enough to lend her every gesture a sense of dissatisfied helplessness. Extras include commentary, interviews, deleted scenes, and Sachs’s 2001 portrait short about his father, Get It While You Can.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 13, 2006