Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on The Nook.
On days when the weather is bad and I have to go to work, I tend to drive west on Highway 38 until I hit the town of Rochelle, IL. Rochelle is a town of about 10,000 people, a pretty standard Midwestern town in a lot of ways. It also happens to be the home town of Joan Allen, who I almost always enjoy in films. Joan Allen and I share an alma mater, too. This and a couple of dollars will get me a cheeseburger somewhere. Still, there are times when I wonder if my appreciation of Joan Allen is at all because of the fact that I could get to her childhood home in less than 20 minutes. And then I see a film like The Contender and realize that I like Joan Allen in front of the camera because Joan Allen is damn good in front of the camera.
< The Contender is a political thriller, a film of high power, intrigue, and politics at the highest level. What that means more or less is that this film is going to get lurid quickly and stay lurid for most of its running time. That means sex, double standards, glass ceilings, criminal accusations, and plots and plans within plans. This is a surprisingly gripping film for having what is essentially an incredibly simple plot.