The Front Reviews
"Fellas, I don't recognize the right of this committe to ask me these kinds of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves."-Howard Prince (Woody Allen)
I liked the subject matter and the fact that the writer, director and some of the actors were actually blacklisted.
Zero Mostel gives a fantastic performance as blacklisted actor Hecky Brown, and his desperation and hopelessness provide the emotional heart of the movie. Mostel manages to make Hecky sympathetic, but never hides his warts.
Woody Allen is actually the weakest link in the film, mostly because he's playing the same character he always does. It feels like this character needs a little more gravitas, especially in the final scene. Woody pulls it off, but pairing him with Mostel shows how out of his depth he truly is.
Lets face it, Mostel is basically playing a variation on his stock character as well, but he manages to dig deeper, to find an emotional weight to his scenes. Allen never feels grounded until the very end. The weight of the world never feels like its crushing down on his shoulders until the movie absolutely requires it to.
In the end, this is a very good movie, one that truly captures the frustration of the blacklist.