a great story, a great movie.
from the very beginning the movie starts off with a great intro, starting with the opening credits animation, kind of these retro kitschy stencil cutout images, and if you pay attention, it's actually summarizing the whole movie before it even starts. the music's catchy too, and when you see "john williams", you know you're in the hands of a professional here, it's not amateur night at film scoring school. i see another academy nomination for original music, if not another win. the final name on the opening credit is that of director, a relative unknown by the name of steven spielberg.
sit back, relax, enjoy the ride.
it's the story of frank abagnale jr. (leonardo dicaprio), an underaged runaway conman who impersonates a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer (even having the audacity of using the ironic last name "conner"), and goes around cashing fake checks, which attracts the attention of fbi agent carl hanratty (tom hanks), who is determined to catch frank (hence the title).
did i mention christopher walken is in the movie as frank's father? and like many of his movies, you can't have a walken movie and not have him doing some sort of dance number, and this film doesn't disappoint on that front. how about jennifer garner? yeah, she's in this movie too as a high priced "escort." the brief scene where we first get introduced to her standing in the hotel hallway in her heels removing a glove with her mouth, and then the subsequent negotiation for services - sigh - thank god we can see more of her in alias and the upcoming daredevil movie!
the message of the film seems to be the importance of style over substance. no matter what people say, it's hard not to judge a book by its cover. and if you can look rich and famous and important, people will tend to treat you like the way you look. mental note: buy some new suits. the fact that frank collects labels from containers and bottles is symbolic of this "you are what you look like" idea. it's a very compelling message, and during the film you're rooting for frank, despite the fact that he's obviously guilty of embezzling over $4 million dollars from various banks.
dicaprio fills the role perfectly, his on-screen charm is very infectious, and i think with this movie he will regain his status as teenage heartthrob from his days of titanic. tom hanks is in a weird place as the hapless but stubborn agent; he's almost the villian in the movie (tom hanks, perennial nice guy, a villian? no!), because you so desperately want to see frank get away.
the ending (don't worry, i won't spoil it for you) is befitting the story as well, and a happy conclusion is resolved for all parties without it being swayed in one party's favor.
if this ends up being the last movie i see this year, then i'll say i ended the season on a high note.