Malice (1993)

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Harold Becker directs Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman and Bill Pullman in this yuppies in peril thriller where a perfect couple and a brilliant surgeon get lost in a game of double crosses and culpability. 

So labyrinthian that the opening act and the closing act feel like entirely different films that just happen to share the same actors and locations yet utterly different plots and characters. Baldwin shines as the arrogant doctor but fades into the background a little too early. The mechanical shenanigans allows for great one scene cameos from Anne Bancroft and George C Scott. Everyone looks fantastic, they are perfectly presented as it all twists and turns juicily around them. So knotted is the narrative it really adds up to nothing. A vortex of betrayals, red herrings and secrets, but one that feels classily rarified these days. They don’t really make cat and mouse noirs like this anymore (Nocturnal Animals?  Side Effects?). So even a wobbly one like this feels like a prestige production 25 years down the line.

7

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