Movie: "How To Get Ahead In Advertising"
Directed by: Bruce Robinson
Writing credits: Bruce Robinson
Reviewer: Max Burbank
Plot: A British advertising executive gets a boil on his neck that turns into a second head, which eventually gains control and turns the original head into a boil.
Review: Back in the late 80ís there was no actor on the planet who played an angry, out of control, intellectual Wildman better than the great Richard E. Grant. Dennis Leary would wither before the stream of vitriol pouring out of Grantís twitching, wiry body; Grant could have torn straight through Sam Kinison like an electric knife through meatloaf.
It didnít last long. I donít know if he was eating handfuls of speed or was just a master actor playing someone who had eaten mouthfuls of speed, but you just had to bow down before his gleeful, full on rage. It was magnificent.
By 1990ís Henry and June, the wind had gone pretty much from his sails, and heís made a career of playing wan, world weary survivors of bitter days gone by. Heís very good at looking like heís just got past the throwing up stage of going cold turkey.
ďHow to get aheadĒ is an actors delight. Grants transformation from an ad man sick of what he does to a monstrous parody of full throttle hucksterism is hilarious yet poignant. Rachel Ward is the perfect foil as Grantís sad, sympathetic wife, forced to witness this bizarre parable of self-destruction. Thereís a scene of her whispering in bed, whispering to the boil that was once her husband which is so sad and so funny at the same time, itís a magnificent acting moment, something she ought to be really, really proud of as an actress. Rachel, if youíre out there reading this, I want you to know, it was a wonderful turn and it makes me cry that this kind of moment goes utterly unnoticed in the world of cinema. You did the craft proud.
Grants final monologue as he storms across the English countryside is one of my favorite pieces of writing and I wonít spoil it for you by telling you anything about it. Find it, watch it and see for yourself.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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