New York, New York
I humbly await the verdict of Commonweal’s Richard Alleva but for the time being I recommend Inside Man. It’s the sort of movie that I prefer on my annual trip to an actual theater: stylish, funny and mindless. A bit like The Usual Suspects, not quite as good as The Fugitive.
Except. Spike Lee directed Inside Man and manages to deftly strew sociological observations of one sort or another across the screen even as the plot (a bank heist, an ex-Nazi, a mysterious Jodi Foster) hurtles along. Lee’s fixation is the increasingly cosmopolitan flavor of New York, with two African-American policeman, a Latino beat cop, a Sikh mistaken for an Arab, and many others jostling for screen attention. The emergence — for better and for worse — of that New York, a global capital in which native born African-Americans and whites leave the city, especially Manhattan, while a stream of afflluent and not so affluent newcomers replace them, is surely connected to the massive parish closings recently announced by the Archdiocese of New York.