Archives for posts with tag: Anne Heche

You know all those movies where the bad guy looks at the good guy and says, “we’re not so different, you and I?” That concept is the poignant, underlying theme of “Donnie Brasco” (1997). Johnny Depp is the young, family man, undercover FBI agent and Al Pacino is the world-weary mob wiseguy, but they’re not so different. They’re both mid-level grinders, bound together, trying to do their best while their bosses take advantage of them. The allure of being someone he’s not has Depp turning away from his own life of quiet desperation, but is the alternative that different? Fuggedaboutit.

At a time when every controversial issue seems to get boiled down to a false choice of good versus evil, it is rare to see someone – anyone – take the effort to show the true complexity of the human condition. “Best of Enemies” (2019) goes back nearly 50 years to tell the story of school desegregation in Durham, N.C., through the eyes of a black community activist (Taraji P. Henson) and a Klan chief (Sam Rockwell). There’s no question they are adversaries, but the activist is not portrayed as a saintly martyr and the Klansman is humanized by his personal struggles.