THE GRIFTERS
1990, Miramax, 110 min, USA, Dir: Stephen Frears

After a small-time scam backfires, Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is hospitalized, bringing his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) back into his life. When she tries to turn him away from girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening), Roy finds himself caught between con artists whose talent for deception far outstrips his own. Adapted from the Jim Thompson novel, this suspenseful neo-noir earned Oscar nominations for Frears, Huston, Bening and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake.


CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
1989, MGM Repertory, 104 min, USA, Dir: Woody Allen

Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Successful ophthalmologist and wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is in a bind when longtime mistress Dolores (Anjelica Huston), fed up with years of noncommitment and empty promises, threatens to go to his wife with the truth. While Judah considers a wickedly devastating solution to his problem, documentary filmmaker Clifford Stern (Woody Allen) must put aside his passion project about a philosophy professor and instead profile his successful weasel of a brother-in-law Lester (Alan Alda). All of Allen’s hilariously hyperbolic obsessions are in fine form here - religion, guilt, sex, death, disgust with the mainstream - but darkly tainted with a bleakness rarely seen in his career of filmmaking.


ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
1993, Paramount, 94 min, USA, Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld

When Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) welcome a new baby into the family, evil nanny Joan Cusack invades the household and sets her cap for Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Paul Rudnick's wickedly satirical script, which includes the brilliant conceit of sending the Addams kids off to summer camp, makes this the rare sequel that improves upon the original.


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