Reign Over Me is Mike Binder‘s “best film, and these are two of the best performances I’ve seen from either Adam Sandler or Don Cheadle, and that is saying something for both of them,” writes HE columnist Moises Chiullan (i.e., “Arthouse Cowboy”) from South by Southwest.
“What’s that? Sandler isn’t an actor, he’s a comedian? And Cheadle playing the straight man is no big task? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
“Sandler has everything he needs in his tool kit that every great American actor has had: humor, charisma, emotional sensitivity, and depth among them. He usually doesn’t get to show them off. He says he purposely doesn’t read what the press writes because of what it does to you to have to endure that kind of defamation and ridicule. It’s like asking to get picked on at school.
“I don’t think you’re qualified to be a film critic if you can’t objectively give Sandler his due for this movie. I don’t know how Hollywood politics work, but this performance…..you know, I’m not gonna go there, this is enough of a rave already. I’ll put it this way — if you think you saw all the nuance he had to offer in Punch Drunk Love, you’re sadly misled.
As for Don Cheadle, another comment brought up in the q & a was how difficult it is to play the straight man — having the script and knowing everything that’s really going on, but having to spontaneously, moment-to-moment go back to the place where you can’t see in the other guy’s head and feel that helplessness…that’s a bigger challenge than you’d think. Cheadle knocks it out of the park, across a state line, and out of another park altogether.
“You seriously have to see this movie. It’s more relevant than every movie I can think of currently in active, first-run release, and as summer approaches, you never know when you’ll get to see a movie that really has something to say anytime soon.”