In the twisty new comedy-thriller, Lucky Number Slevin (opening nationwide today), Josh Hartnett plays an unlucky guy who's having the worst day ever. He's mugged, beaten, and mistaken for somebody caught in the middle of a gang war between two aging mobsters (Morgan Freeman, cool as always, and a scenery-chewing Ben Kingsley) who haven't left their isolated office towers in two decades. "It's very Shakespearean," says director Paul McGuighan. "It has all these lovely twists and turns. But people will try to pick holes in it."
Slevin is one of the nascent Weinstein Company's initial forays into the indie-hip territory that was emblematic of the Weinstein brothers' glory days at Miramax. It's a little bit Pulp Fiction, with a dash of The Usual Suspects and a pinch of North by Northwest. "It's nice to pay tribute to those movies, without completely ripping them off," says McGuighan, the Glasgow director who helmed the tough-talking Gangster No. 1. He says Jason Smilovic's fast-moving script initially attracted him to the project; the cast (which includes Bruce Willis as a hitman and Lucy Liu as a nosy neighbor) sealed it. "I wanted to make the dialogue a character," he says. "It's a very heightened story. I felt like I was making a stage play at times." See Film for review.
Fri., April 7