Great acting puts this one over the goal line.
Miles D. Moore | Alexandria, VA USA | 07/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the negative reviews on this page make plain, there's a lot to quarrel with in Alex and Andrew Smith's "The Slaughter Rule." The film is essentially a series of intense set pieces, lacking a strong enough ending and narrative arc to tie them together into a cohesive, satisfying whole. The characters' tragedies and setbacks come unbelievably thick and fast, and large blocks of dialogue are lost because the Smiths encourage the actors to mumble inaudibly. Smaller things about the film also are bothersome, such as the Smiths' decision to saddle the protagonist with the joke name of Roy Chutney. (I kept expecting Uncle Allardyce Chutney and Cousin Clarence P. Chutney, played by W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx, to show up for a visit.)
Nevertheless, "The Slaughter Rule" manages to wield considerable power, thanks to the excellence of its ensemble cast. Mumble though they may, these are actors who know how to keep an audience mesmerized. David Morse gives the performance of his career as Gid, a grizzled, eccentric football coach and celibate gay man with a chaste but burning crush on Roy, his star quarterback. Gid's big speech, meant to reassure Roy about his intentions, instead comes across as a torch song, only serving to scare Roy all the more.
Ryan Gosling is equally compelling as Roy, continuing the extraordinary string of performances he began with "The Believer" and carried through "Half Nelson," "Fracture" and "Lars and the Real Girl." I was also greatly impressed by the performances of Clea DuVall as the barmaid with whom Roy has a brief fling, Eddie Spears as Roy's best friend, Kelly Lynch as Roy's nasty mother, and David Cale as the town drunk, living out of an old Studebaker and sputtering his encyclopedic knowledge of classic country music. (Amy Adams is in the movie too, but you'll miss her if you blink.) Be sure to check out the deleted scenes on this disc, which fill in so many blanks in the story that I'm surprised the Smiths left them out.
One of the best
tomtom2020 | 08/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Explores the relationship between an older man suspected of being gay and a straight young man. This was a very touching movie which made me cry - I love the kind of movie that explores personal relationships rather than special effect movies which leave out the interpersonal.
I was a former high school teacher who was also thought to be gay, so this movie really touched me a lot.