The usual suspects

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British Film Institute, 2002 - History - 95 pages
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A heist thriller with a dazzling twist in the tail, The Usual Suspects captivated audiences when it appeared in 1995. Directed by Bryan Singer, the film won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay (Christian MacQuarrie) and Best Supporting Actor (Kevin Spacey). Co-starring with Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Chazz Palminteri, and Pete Postlethwaite, Spacey plays Verbal Kint, one of a group of talented thieves whose high-stakes operation puts them in confrontation with a mastermind personification of evil--Kyser Soze.
Time has seen The Usual Suspects' reputation grow and it's now a major cult movie. But critical views were mixed when the film was first released. Ernest Larsen takes this critical resistance as his starting-point. In a wide-ranging study, Larsen examines the film's sophisticated narrative structure and the new spin it puts on older genre conventions and themes. The upshot is a fascinating account of a film whose technical accomplishment and fine ensemble acting have made it an undisputed modern classic of American cinema.

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About the author (2002)

Ernest Larsen is a New York-based critic, novelist and film-maker. His novel Not a Through Street (1981) won an Edgar Allan Poe Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.