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Kiss the Girls – 1997 Fleder
- There are some moments when it is up to the source material and direction not to let a talented actor down. In 1997 Morgan Freeman is still in his absolute prime. He’s a late bloomer in general (he’s 60 years old here). Though he has been acting since the 1960’s (an extra in Lumet’s The Pawnbroker in 1964) it wasn’t until 1987’s Street Smart that he had his first real archiveable film and worthy performance. In 1989 it was Driving Miss Daisy and Glory. In 1992 he had Unforgiven, in 1994 Shawshank, in Seven in 1995. Here in Kiss the Girls (clearly cashing in on the success of Seven) he has to do the heavy lifting mostly on his own. He’s in total command. It is hard to underplay a role and still have imposing screen presence.
- This is easily the least of the films listed on the page. It resides squarely in the seedy, serial-killer crime subgenre and has much in common with 1991’s Silence of the Lambs.
- Again, this is no Seven, Insomnia or Silence of the Lambs. But Gary Fleder (Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead) doesn’t screw it up and it isn’t just Freeman’s lines that work. Ashley Judd comes across well here as the unafraid, un-victim. She and Freeman have worked together often (five times at least).
- Like the Grisham courtroom drama- this 1990’s hot genre was unappreciated in its time and Kiss the Girls is a solid entry. If it came out in 2020 it would be fare much better (it is far stronger than the recent The Little Things)
- Of course, the stunning use of the split diopter in the film’s final few minutes doesn’t hurt either
- Recommend but closer to the bottom of the archives than the top 10 of 1997