Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Cotton Club

Nominated for 2 Academy awards and inspired by true events, The Cotton Club centers around a prohibition era Harlem jazz club of the same name. Richard Gere plays Dixie Dwyer, a cornet playing jazz musician with unwanted ties to the mob. Nicolas Cage plays Dixie's brother, Vincent Dwyer whose character is based on Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll. Vincent uses Dixie's mob contacts to secure himself a job as a small town lackey, collecting money and terrorizing the residents of Harlem.

I'm not a huge fan of Richard Gere and I didn't think I would really enjoy the movie but Gere was remarkably bearable and the all-star supporting cast was nothing short of amazing. The story revolves around Dixie and his love interest Vera Cicero played by Diane Lane. After Dixie witnesses a murder by local mob hothead Dutch Schultz ( James Remar ), he is tasked with entertaining Dutch's girl Vera. Vera is more attracted to Dixie but both agree to keep things under wraps for fear that Dutch would find out and possibly kill one or both of them. In a parallel story arc, real-life brothers Gregory and Maurice Hines play the tap dancing Williams brothers, trying to make it big at The Cotton Club. Meanwhile Vince is working his way up the mob ladder by any means necessary. The underlying theme throughout all the story arcs seems to be about the price we pay for the things we think we want. Laurence Fishburne ( Rumble Fish ), Bob Hoskins ( Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Fred Gwyne ( aka Herman Munster ) round out the cast with supporting roles and Tom Waits also makes another appearance in Nic Cage's 5th movie.




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