It’s been a while since we have had a good pulp noir film, and Edward Norton’s passion project fills that gap respectfully.
Norton is the writer/director/lead actor of this new film. Motherless Brooklyn, which tells the story of a detective whose boss/friend gets killed in pursuit of a big case. Lionel (Ed Norton) has some version of Tourette’s Syndrome, though that name is never used, and it gets in his way as he tries to weave his way through the complicated case at the heart of his friend Frank’s(Bruce Willis) death.
The film is slow and it is long, but I did not find either of those as a drawback to the movie. I found this interesting and engaging. It was a mystery story that we had to uncover exactly what had happened. We knew the result and who committed the crime, but we had to discover the reasons.
Part of that had to do with Alec Baldwin’s big bad New York developer character, Moses Randolph. I am not really sure where the inspiration for this character came from… (just kidding).
The story took place in the 1950s in New York. The atmosphere of the film was one of the best parts. The atmosphere helps make the noir successful. Ed Norton did the voice over and it worked.
The performances were good to great. The story was fine. I had picked out the “surprise” part early on so that did not shock me. And there was some epic music happening with the score too.
I believe that watching this movie requires patience, because it is a slow burn, but the trip is worth it. These days of instant gratification, this is a throwback to the old days of movies.