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8
Dec 02
Sun

Changing Lanes

I liked this movie. It doesn’t seem to have been overly publicised, but its the tale of two New York men from different ends of the social spectrum, unescapably spiralling down and down – Shakespearean tragedy style – in what is an incredibly crap day for them both. One is an alcoholic black man (Samuel L. Jackson), desparately trying to prevent his ex-wife from moving interstate so he can still see the kids, who are in the custody of her. The other is a high-flying 29 year old lawyer (Ben Affleck) who has just been made a partner in a Wall Street firm. They cross paths and through a series of rash decisions, continually blinded by retaliatory anger, turn each other’s days to shit.

The film gives us a large dollop of cynicism tinged with an optimistic ending. I particularly loved the scenes where Affleck is interviewing the law students, and what was said during the interviews. For high-flying careers – what motivation truly drives people, and can the idealistic survive the world with their ideals intact? Or does “walking the edge” really necessitate a corruption of them, that a little bit of harm is ok, as long as it is counterbalanced by good? Highly recommended.