Wow. If you are interested in watching a film about how low the human psyche can be pushed, this film is it. The all star cast featured some of my favorites-Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Al Pacino, and sweet Alan Arkin. By the end of the film, I could barely stand to look at Kevin Spacey on screen. Alec Baldwin's part is terribly hard to watch, but he nails the character perfectly. Pompous, obtuse, overbearing, overly confident, and narcissistic.
Jack Lemmon will break your heart in this film. His character Shelly floats between emotions as easily and lightly as a dove, but the end results are starkly different. Throughout any given frame, he is confident, week, gutsy, confused, angry, kind, careless in action. His backstory, that he is working hard to provide for his sick daughter, only adds anxiety and pain to his plight.
The writer and director weave in a subplot involving robbery that takes us down one course, only to pull a surprise out in the end that too, causes additional heartache for the viewer. This film epitomizes the struggles of daily life in the working force for many: corrupt bosses, selfish managers, and good people pushed to the edge when their options of a stable livelihood run out.