Diamond Men Reviews
Diamond Men is rich with endearing moments and witty Humor, that gets even the hard to smile people on the floor laughing. Donnie Wahlberg toke me by surprise in a rare but wonderful Performance as the unexperienced undertaker who was hopelessly flawed but charismatic. For and indie and low budget film- this is what real Cinema is all about- Talent!
Diamond Men starts out as a movie like that, and it's very tempting to recommend it on that basis alone. The movie, for example, stars Robert Forster, that excellent and underused actor, as an aging diamond salesman who has a heart attack and has to train his replacement. His replacement is played by Donnie Wahlberg, in an unlikable but very interesting performance as a hip young upstart without a clue. Forster starts out by hating the kid- for God's sakes, he's being replaced!- but soon realises that he should be taking this job seriously, since it could be his last.
The scenes at the beginning of the movie, dealing strictly with the diamond trade, are fascinating simply because we've never seen them before. Forster is perfectly cast in them as a veteran who has seemingly always known his trade. Because the movie starts in such a unique situation, we immediately wonder what will happen next. The movie does contain several surprises, and I don't want to spoil any of them by hinting at what they might be. The performances by the two leads are top notch, and play off of each other very well. The movie is paced about right, too, I think, revealing its surprises carefully.
There's a mis-step made about 2/3'rds into Diamond Men, where we meet a character who is never really defined. She's Katie, an older woman who catches Forster's eye. She's played by Bess Armstrong, an actress with whom I am not familiar, and on the basis of this film, have no strong desire to be. She's written very bizarrely- she has touches of supernatural beliefs, but they don't pan out into the story or into how Eddie (that's, Forster anyway), sees her. Armstrong's performance doesn't lift the material out of b-movie material, either. She should have been played by Frances McDormand, or any other slightly older actress able to add some weight to the role. She feels like a plot device in a movie that feels bold and original.
Is two-thirds of a good movie worth recommending? I don't know. I can't say. If you're interested in something different, I guess I'd say check Diamond Men out. It's not great, but at least it's not like everything else.
This is not a great film... it is not even a well made film (some editing transitions are questionable choices, B camera stuff is weak and overall exposure is off by a full stop every now and then)... but it as a really well acted and written film.
Robert Forster is a great character actor... and he finds many wonderful way to fit into the skin of the main character in this piece. He makes it look effortless and so natural.