Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Based on the book “Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit” by Frank Abagnale Jr., Stan Redding
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Frank Abagnale Jr. (DiCaprio) has conned his way into a better life. As the con wears thin, Frank finds himself pursued by Carl Hanratty (Hanks), a tenacious F.B.I. agent.
The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. first came to light with the book he co-wrote with Stan Redding in 1980. More than two decades later, this one finally emerged from development limbo and landed on the big screen. Steven Spielberg (Munich) directed the film using a screenplay written by Jeff Nathanson (The Terminal). The film features a number of stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies), and Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter).
This movie is based on the incredible true story of Frank Abagnale Jr.. The screenplay plays strongly on the relationships Frank had with his father, and with Carl Hanratty. The movie continually changes as DiCaprio’s character evolves. The relationship Frank has with Hanratty and his father serve as a nice core for the film to play off of. The dialogue in the movie is well-written, giving the actors a lot of material to work with. In addition, the movie has fun with the action as well. The near-misses and cat-and-mouse moments really work wonderfully. Overall, this is a really fun biographical film.
This movie is all about the performances. The material was strong and the cast does all the rest. Leonardo DiCaprio once again proves his versatility with this film. He’s able to play the role of naive teenager, and then slowly adapt it as his character learns about life. The naive nature of the role sticks in the background of his performance, really making this one great. DiCaprio also does a great job playing opposite both Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken.
Tom Hanks does a really good job with his role in this movie. His performance is sometimes silly, but always stays grounded in the story. He also seemed to know when the tone needed to be more or less serious. Christopher Walken also does good work with his part in this one. His role is essential to setting up the film, and he does a nice job throughout. Walken would eventually be nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work.
This is a cool movie that brings the era of the story to life with a unique flare. The costumes, sets, and music all bring color the world and keep things fun. John Williams earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for his contribution to the movie. Nothing big is missing in this one. The story is safe, but fun. The acting is great. The production is solid. Fans of the stars should definitely check this one out. I would also suggest this to fans of crime dramas or biographical films. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.