Renting 25th Hour, a Spike Lee film from 2002, was harder than I thought it would be. One of my favorite film critics, A.O. Scott of The New York Times and At the Movies, picked it as one of the top ten of last decade. (His original review is here.) Our library had only one copy and it took months to reach me. When it did, the dvd was so mauled that it was unplayable. When I returned it and reported its condition, the librarian hooked me up with an interlibrary loan, so I did finally get a copy last week.
Edward Norton is a drug dealer busted by the DEA, and this film takes place on the last day before he goes to prison. He has to find a home for his dog, meet up with his two childhood friends, played by Barry Pepper and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, say goodbye to his father, and continue to try and ignore the nagging question of whether it was his girlfriend, played by Rosario Dawson, who sold him out.
Filmed in 2002 NYC’s still-raw aftermath of 9/11, the city plays an important role. But the film centers on Norton, and though he’s an excellent actor, I never quite felt him in this role. I loved the music of the movie, the shots of the city, and many of the scenes, but the film never came together for me as a whole.