The Grifters

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USA | 1990 | 110 minutes | Stephen Frears

Anjelica Huston received her third Academy Award® nomination for her blistering performance as the hard-as-nails estranged mother of a small-time con man in Steven Frears' seductive neo-noir based on the classic pulp novel by Jim Thompson.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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Master of the small-time con, Roy (John Cusack) has a talent for rigging dice games and grabbing a few extra dollars here and there. You can say it runs in the family. He gets it from his estranged mother, Lilly (Anjelica Huston), who spends her time at the horse races making bets for big-time bookmaker Bobo. The two are brought together again after a scam gone wrong leaves Roy bleeding internally in a hospital bed. Lilly busts back into Roy's life, meets his girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening), and doesn't hide her strong disapproval. She urges Roy to get out of the game while he can—but at the same time Myra is intent on convincing him to be her partner in a dangerous long con. Skeptical of both women's motives, Roy desperately tries to resist being violently pulled in either direction, and the two women turn on each other. The Grifters boasts phenomenal performances by its leading ladies: Anjelica Huston received her third Academy Award® nomination for her blistering performance as Roy's hard-as-nails mother, and Annette Bening was also nominated for her role as his wickedly scheming girlfriend. Hidden cash, stolen identities, and shadowy pasts make up this seductive neo-noir directed by Steven Frears and based on the classic pulp novel by Jim Thompson.

Director Biography

English director Stephen Frears began his filmmaking career in the 1960s. Since then he has directed a great number of acclaimed films, including High Fidelity, Philomena, The Queen, and The Grifters, which earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Director in 1991.

Sponsored by Chihuly Studio, KING 5, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

  • Director: Stephen Frears
  • Principal Cast: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening, Jan Munroe, Robert Weems
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Robert A. Harris, Jim Painter, Martin Scorsese
  • Screenplay: Jim Thompson, Donald E. Westlake
  • Cinematographers: Oliver Stapleton
  • Editors: Mick Audsley
  • Music: Elmer Bernstein
  • Awards: Academy Awards 1991 (Nominations: Best Actress in a Leading Role - Anjelica Huston; Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Annette Bening; Directing - Stephen Frears; Writing [Screenplay Based On Material From Another Medium] - Donald E. Westlake)
  • Filmography: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016); The Program (2015); Night Will Fall (2014); Philomena (2013); Lay the Favorite (2012); Tamara Drew (2010); The Queen (2006)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP