Jackie Brown (1997)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Robert Forster
Quentin Tarantino makes movies that leave no doubt about who was behind the camera. From Kill Bill to Inglourious Basterds he has made his mark on American cinema. This time is was 1997s Jackie Brown. This film came on the heels of his wildly popular Pulp Fiction which was released in 1994. This movie stars Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert DeNiro. In addition the film also features Robert Forster, Michael Keaton, and Bridget Fonda.
Jackie Brown (Grier) is a middle-aged flight attendant working for a small airline. She also happens to be helping to bring money and drugs into the United States for gun runner Ordell Robbie (Jackson). When this side job catches up with her Jackie finds herself between the law and Ordell. Soon she’s playing both sides in an effort to get out of the situation. This is a dangerous game that could land her in prison or get her killed.
This movie has many strengths, but perhaps acting is the strongest. All of the main characters are played wonderfully by the great range of actors. Grier is the star of the movie and plays the title role wonderfully. Samuel L. Jackson is also great with his great performance as the violent and greedy Ordell.
The movie also features great performances by Michael Keaton and Robert DeNiro. Each of them becomes an important part of this incredible story. Surprisingly, with all of the great performances Robert Forster was singled out with an Oscar nomination for his performance.
All of the actors benefit from the great dialogue of the script which was written by Tarantino. He adapted this for the screen from the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch.
The film also has a great visual quality to it. The camera angles and shot composition have a similar feel to Pulp Fiction and are perfect for the story being told. The costuming and set design lend themselves to the story as well.
This movie also features a wonderful soundtrack that really adds to each scene. I’m always glad to hear music in a film that feels natural to the situation. This music does that with hits from artists like The Delfonics and Bobby Womack.
This is another example of Tarantino’s unique vision. As a tribute to the black exploitation films of the seventies the film is a wonderful homage. From the visuals to the dialogue the film is gritty and in your face from the beginning. Unlike Kill Bill the film has a more conventional story that feels more realistic. If you’re a fan of Pulp Fiction this might be another movie worth watching. It might also appeal to you if you’re a fan of crime films. I give this one 4.3 out of 5 stars.