I already said most everything I want to say about John Sayles way back here. The abbreviated version is the guy's fucking great. Secaucus has been on the back-burner for the past few years -- I can't say I was all that intrigued by a directorial debut, especially one involving a group of post-activist thirty year-olds hanging out and talking. Zzzzzz. But then last week as I finished reading Sayles on Sayles, I figured it was time. And I'm glad I made the decision 'cause I still can't believe how enjoyable and well-done this movie turned out to be. Sayles has gotten better behind the scenes, but he's had that typewritten skill and talent all along -- the flick may start boring, but by the end you "get" (errr..."understand"?) all the characters, even the ones who only show up for ten minutes. The Sayles even turns in a role and somehow manages to out-act the mighty Straithairn!
Okay, so obviously the screenplay and performances are great, but I really couldn't help but find myself in sheer awe of the back-and-forth scene where Mark Arnott's character chops kindling. It's probably the Herzog on Herzog talking, but it is an image more poetic, revealing, and well-placed than anything anyone could have imagined. A true thing of simple cinematic beauty.