Published Sep 01, 2004One of the leading voices in American independent film, John Sayles returns with yet another politically and socially relevant tale in Silver City. Set during a gubernatorial race in Colorado, candidate Richard Pilager (Chris Cooper, in a very thinly veiled Bush impersonation) finds a dead body on the campaign trail. His manager (Richard Dreyfuss), convinced that the body was put there to sabotage his campaign, hires private investigator Danny O'Brian (Danny Huston) to look into it and scare off potential saboteurs. Through the course of the investigation, Danny uncovers corruption, corporate greed, and human indifference that all lead back to the political Pilager family, which in turn lead Danny back to his roots as an idealistic journalist.
John Sayles is hardly ever subtle in mixing film and politics, and Silver City is no exception. It can get a bit didactic in its look at the real contemporary America (or at least more real that we usually see in feature films), with its unflinching look at race relations, illegal immigration, environmental devastation, the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, etc.
As usual, however, the film is saved from being just a political tirade by its easy pace and nicely observed characters and relationships. Chris Cooper's amazing portrayal of the hapless Dickie Pilager, trying hard to use the right words and make Daddy and Daddy's friends happy, almost made me feel sorry for Bush now that's saying something. (Alliance Atlantis)