Sunday, January 15, 2012

Divorce and Custody Movie Review - American Gangster

Today I review American Gangster from my collection of divorce, child custody and child support related movies.

American Gangster [2008] - Written by Steve Zaillian; directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Russel Crowe as a divorced New York City detective who dedicated his life more to police work than his wife and his son with whom he has sporadic involvement. The mother, Carla Gugino, wants to relocate to Las Vegas and insists that she will go without Crowe's consent.

The film centers around the battle between police and entrepreneurs for control of the profits from the illicit drug trade. At one point Crowe provides a candid basis for the motives to make certain drugs illegal and characterizes the employees who benefit from it.

The film follows the taught and suspenseful development of the cat and mouse game being played by Crowe and the film's protagonist, Denzel Washington, the drug kingpin. Some viewers may not appreciate the slow pace at which the storyline is developed before the confrontation between the main characters culminates.

While not explicitly confronting the issues which underlie the higher divorce rate and substance abuse by law enforcers those issues do rise to the surface. Gugino openly and harshly chastises Crowe revealing these issues in a rapid-fire berating. In the very concise and short courtroom scene Crowe has a moment of clarity and realizes his shortcomings and lack of ability to provide a suitable and stable environment in which to raise the child. While walking out on the courtroom proceeding, conceding to the mother, he doesn't walk away from the child instead stating that he will travel to Las Vegas to visit.

The heightening tension that builds throughout the film should avail the viewer with motive to remain attached for the duration. The escalating violence perpetuated by the police and the entrepreneurs over the drug business culminates in an exciting conclusion. Harris Savides does a superb job of capturing the mood and feel of a 1970's subject without the cinematic antics that degrade many contemporary action films. The unrated version at 2 hours and 57 minutes is a long haul but worth the time.

If there is a movie that you would like reviewed please send a request to me. The complete list of movies I have reviewed may be viewed here.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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