Music Box (1989)

"Weak"

Music Box (1989) Review


Is daddy really a Nazi living under an assumed identity in America? In this impressively stupid collaboration between Costa-Gavras and Joe Eszterhas (you will not find a more unlikely pair since Oscar and Felix) we have to wait almost two hours to find out if Armin Mueller-Stahl is indeed the monster he's accused of being or if it's a Commie plot. The catch? Daughter Jessica Lange is defending him at a Nuremburg-style trial.

In the vein of Jagged Edge and Basic Instinct (all Eszterhas movies, actually), we're kept guessing as to whether hedunit, only in Music Box, we couldn't care less. If the characters aren't speaking in thick, phony accents, they're speaking in foreign languages altogether -- through long, drawn-out courtroom scenes where immigrants reflect hazily on whether Armin's our man.

If you've seen any of the aforementioned films you know how this ends, but that won't happen until you get a ton of Lange's patented wailing about injustice and her plight in all of this. God help us, if the sheer volume of your performance is the criteria for an Oscar nomination, Lange deserved the one she got.



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