The Bonfire of the Vanities (1989) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: After his mistress runs over a young teen, a Wall Street hotshot sees his life unravel in the spotlight, and attracting the interest of a down and out reporter. Runtime: 125 mins Release Date: 31 Dec 1989
After reading a large number of negative reviews, it finally became clear to me why this movie is so widely hated - because it honestly depicts the modern biased race-based American society, in which uneducated crowds are ready to devour an honest person, and punish him for a crime he didn't commit. The acting is great, Tom Hanks does an admirable job, however,it isn't acting which makes the movie great. The superb directing, creating realistic and horrible scenes of dirty political games and black literally PR, capture my attention. So, to sum up, a brilliant political satire. The <more>
movie could make a laughable comedy, if it wasn't so terrifying...
Its a pity people don't get this film, but its a real shame most of the critics do not, either! This is the finest film I've ever seen, De Palma's best by far.What you need to realize about this film is its complex ironical code. If you cant get the irony, the "movie" will seem pointless to you.Stylistically, this is De Palma's most remarkable film, built on theatrical acting, pulling the limits of conventional movie acting to the very edge. The whole cast is just brilliant! Follow the camera, its angles and plans; the twisted camera perspective is the most <more>
significant technical instrument to produce ironical effect in this film. Everything which is said and done in this film can be observed not only in virtual, but also in metaphorical manner, and that is where rich political symbolics come from.This is the film which successfully unites political and aesthetic aspect in a lovely and inspired interplay, and it is highly recommended to anyone trying to cultivate his taste.
NB - I have not read the book. Unfairly chastised by the press on release, and too easy to tar as a weak link in De Palma's ouevre, BOTV is better than Wall Street, Working Girl et al. and is still very relevant.This is an OTT opera where every character is a cynic trying to work an angle, and every action in a complex story about contacts, smear campaigns, politics and pawns has an obvious and most of the time greedy motivation. BOTV also confronts sex, racism and class clashes with a frankness that most Hollywood movies run a mile from - it is suprisingly frank in it's <more>
depiction of these The exception being that the New York judge had to be, of course, black [Morgan Freeman]. This is something dramatists do to make some of their social opinions seem less controversial since they are being spouted by a man of colour in a white forum. On par with His Girl Friday and The Sweet Smell of Success, and possessing an oddball universe Preston Sturges would've been proud of creating, this film is all the more powerful when you actually live in a world kind of like this and I meet these kinds of people all the time - this is REAL! .PS - Half an hour was lopped off by the studio after disasterous preview screenings. This movie deserves a DVD director's cut release.
If ever there was a film that didn't deserve all the bad press it received, this is it. "The Bonfire of the Vanities" is actually an absorbing, slick-paced and well-acted piece of cinema that works on several levels. Tom Hanks is great as Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street hot shot whose life unravels because of one wrong turn into the Bronx. While behind the wheel of McCoy's Mercedes, his mistress accidentally strikes an intimidating young black man who approached the financial wizard. Enter Bruce Willis as Peter Fallow, a reporter eager to regain his reputation who sees the <more>
incident as just what the doctor ordered. "The Bonfire of the Vanities" is a fascinating look at how self interests trump decency, how public perception matters more than the truth, and how lies are sometimes necessary for the truth to surface. One of the reasons this film was so poorly received is that it isn't often laugh-out-loud funny. But "Bonfire" isn't really a comedy; it's a satire about contemporary society, and one that hits all too close to home.
It is absolutely the very BEST portrait of our current culture that I have ever seen. The writer was decades ahead of his time in seeing through all the saccharin sentimentality and superficial razor thin concern most people display for the eternal greed and vanity that drives them. Hell, now we have parents of murdered children bumping into each other to get their faces on "Good Morning America." How tragically pathetic. Great movie.
A Real Gem, Sometimes the Critics Are Just Plain Wrong (by ulsterscot-1)
Be thankful for movies on video, because this much maligned film wasn't in the theatres too long, thanks to critics and a public that pays too much attention to them . This is a very funny, insightful film with fascinating plot and characters thank you, novelist Tom Wolfe , beautifully filmed and edited. I read the novel after seeing the film, and I agree the book has some charms the movie doesn't catch, but Tom Hanks does a fine job as Sherman McCoy, the Wall Street whiz kid who suddenly decides to be a moral person and is caught up in the racial politics and journalistic mendacity <more>
of New York. Bruce Willis's narration as the drunken writer Peter Fallow is great fun, especially as we see him knowingly collaborating in a news story that is almost a complete lie. Melanie Griffith is good as the sluttish mistress Maria, although her Southern accent is variable. Catch this on TV sometime with half the obscenities cut and treat yourself to an unexpected pleasure.
This film will probably be re-discovered in later years and be described as the classic--albeit flawed--that it really is. The script is excellent in places and neatly captures the irreverence and cynicism that this kind of satire needs. People have criticised this film merely on the basis of wanting to shoot down the successful careers of those working on it---but I suspect that Willis, Hanks, De Palma,et al, will be secretly pleased that they have this lost treasure in their back catalogues to be resurrected and discussed long after their more popular films might be.
You just don't get it (by Cab Martinez)
So many people have been getting down on this movie, and I for one think it is totally unjustified. Forget the book! This is nothing like the book! This is a movie, that has a very delicate dark humor, that just seems to whiz over peoples heads. Take a deep breath, and enjoy the light way every aspect of this movie treats it subject matter with.
so-so adaptation of classic satire (by el1sdf)
De Palma's biggest and worst film to that date is blighted by its' broad comedy, which sits uncomfortably with the cynical tone of the book. Wolfe's view on society may be accurate, but it is certainly not populist - many people HATE this film. Bruce Willis is weak, Tom Hanks is somewhat flat as Sherman McCoy. De Palma was perhaps too ambitious to condense a large book into a slick film. Main themes such as race are clumsily handled and likely to cause offense to anyone unfamiliar with the source material. The funniest and broadest scenes are with F. Murray Abraham and Saul <more>
Rubinek and the film is almost saved by the solid yet again performance by Morgan Freeman. Worth watching, if only for the varied cast.