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John Sayles has created one of the most underrated films with City of Hope. I had never heard of this film and had been hunting Sunshine State on Blu-ray over the weekend. City of Hope ended up in my view due to the strength of the cast and the reviews were already positive so I thought it was worth the investment. I'm amazed that this film has gone so unrewarded as this is a strong indie film and the way it is structured is amazing. The lack of a larger budget doesn't distract and you would be amazed at the overall budget for this film. John Sayles is a name I didn't recognise but I've seen Limbo and Sunshine State many years ago. The biggest issue I find with these older films is the lack of availability and this makes viewing them very hard. City of Hope escaped the hype train but this is a must-see film. Strong character and an amazing filmmaking style that only serves the performances. 14/06/2020
underrated masterpiece from writer director John Sayles
Between a 7/10 and 8/10, Sayles' strategy is unique and sneaky without being self-serving... An epic-scale examination of how the bad guy never knows he's the bad guy.
Well made story of intermingled people in a big city in the 90's. Corruption and greed, racial tension and crooked cops. The director John Sayles plays one of the main roles.
This is a good movie. A film that tackles racial problems, politics, corruption, protests, and urban life. "City Of Hope" is the American microcosm where all these diffrent stories and where most of the characters bump into one another. Sort of like taking all these ingridents and adding it into the stirring pot. Filmmaker John Sayles has taken this interconnected story that would remind one of the works of Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson or Paul Haggis.
Cinematographer Robert Richardson photographs with his trademark of using a bright key light shinning vividly on the cast and uses reds, yellows and other sources of lights to enhance the story. It's funny to also see Richardson in a small cameo scene as one of the convicts sitting silently at a police precinct. John Sayles also plays a part in the picture as Carl. A corrupted mechanic who wants piece of the action. Sayles's performace is chillingly frieghtning and brilliant adding another layer in the city of hope.
A city pulses with racial problems, political corruption, and small-time crime in this ambitious microcosm of urban life, written and directed by John Sayles. Nick Rinaldi (Vincent Spano), a lost soul usually high on drink and drugs, has spent his life in one New Jersey city, getting free rides from his connected father (Tony LoBianco) and hearing the locals talk of his brother's death in Vietnam.
Searching for more control, Nick quits the cushy contractor's job provided by his Dad, feeling that major events are about to happen to him. That feeling proves accurate -- by film's end his life will change, as will the lives of many others. Nick is only the center of the movie's sprawling collection of people and plotlines; Sayles takes full advantage of this expansive landscape, as he often begins shooting one conversation, only to pull back and eavesdrop on another, in one smooth, intriguing shot.
By listening in, we slowly learn about the citizens and their dilemmas, as the city's woes bubble to a narrative climax. Many of Sayles' regular players are on-screen (the movie features 52 roles), including Joe Morton as a frustrated councilman and David Strathairn as a disturbed street person.
A+ John Sayles is a master filmmaker.
**** (out of four)
John Sayles sprawling and emotional look at a decaying city. It isn't pleasant, but it is memorable. Great performances from an amazing cast include Vincent Spano, Angela Bassett, David Strathairn, and Joe Morton.
John Sayles' brilliant film abou interpresonal relations in the age of social deterioration.
My favorite John Sayles movie.