Take It to the Bank

FLIFF wins one, then hits a downturn

The Last Lullaby — Jeffrey Goodman's intention in directing The Last Lullaby was to combine "the playfulness from the French new wave" with the "slowness of some art films," the "naturalistic style of early '70s American film," and a "commitment to narrative taken from film noir." Presumably, Gordon did not intend to produce a "credulity-stretching piece of crap," yet this is what he has done. The Last Lullaby is the story of an aging hit man, Price (played with valiant mookishness by Tom Sizemore), who comes out of retirement to do one last job. Unfortunately for him, he falls in love with his quarry, thus becoming mired in a web of betrayal and familial intrigue and blah blah blah — do you care? The story is so unselfconsciously hardboiled that it demands paprika. The execution is inconsistent too. Lullaby's big-shot criminals are urbane, clearly drawn from big-city Mafioso archetypes, but the whole movie is shot in what looks like rural Louisiana. This is jarring, and so is the film's lopsided approach to character development, which provides us cheesy armchair-psych insights into the lives of supporting characters while ignoring the protagonist altogether. Never once, for example, does Lullaby explore why Price might have fallen in love with his erstwhile victim. Thankfully, we don't really feel the need to know. (Sunday, October 26, 5 p.m.; and Monday, October 27, 7 p.m., AMC Coral Ridge, 93 minutes.) By Brandon K. Thorp

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