' ' Cinema Romantico: Ray of Light

Friday, May 22, 2020

Ray of Light

In the invaluable Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s crack profile of Val Kilmer for The New York Times, a bunch of paragraphs in, she considers her subject’s mid-90s grapple with leading man-dom and how, despite his struggles, he kept churning out “magnetic” work in smaller roles on the side. She cites “Heat,” writing “Forget that amazing shootout sequence that everyone talks about; the movie’s most mesmerizing moment is the 40-second microscene in which he watches a clerk verify that his fake license is real.” Hark, I thought, what’s this? An NYT profile lingering over a single cinematic facial expression? Cinema Romantico lingers over single cinematic facial expressions all the time. Cinema Romantico has lingered over the exact facial expression Taffy was talking about.

Of course, that is but one of many indelible Val Kilmer facial expressions in “Heat.” 

At a critical juncture, when the bank robbing crew of which Kilmer is part summons its newest member, Waingro (above), who is just not working out, to summarily dismiss him, Waingro, obliviously mellow, orders dessert and asks if anybody wants some pie. 

But this? This is a man who does not want some pie.

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