Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Imelda Marcos & the Oscar Buzz in Kevin Spacey's "Casino Jack"

"Washington is like Hollywood with Ugly People."

Jack Abramoff (played by Kevin Spacey), Washington lobbyist, knows what he is talking about, but such insightful aptitude has lead him to corruption, embezzlement and even murder. His work has also translated to an unconscionable greed, staving off about $40 million from native Americans, taking over a floating casino business, and bribing politicians along the way to move his money-making causes with the help of his equally greedy partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper).

The lines in the film bristle with wit and fire, but what particularly caught our attention was the reference to Philippines' queen of the ostentatious - Imelda Marcos!

While Jack pitches his "business" with the slimy Adam Kidan (Jon Lovitz), he suddenly name-drops the grand dame out of exasperation:

Jack: I've dealt with commies in Nicaragua, generals in Pakistan, partied enough with Imelda Marcos, why should I be afraid of a Greek who makes sandwiches?

Adam: What is Imelda like?

Jack: She likes to play piano and sing show tunes.

Adam: Really?

Jack: Yeah, she's got a pretty decent voice.

Jack's God-complex is undeniable, and you sometimes forget that he is human, as the spectacular Kevin Spacey carries Jack like an invincible creature. But when you realize that Jack Abramoff actually produced a Hollywood actioner called "Red Scorpion" starring Dolph Lundgren, then you realize sometime in the midst of this ego-charged political comic drama that, Mr. Abramoff is not infallible.

And that something will eventually crumble.

Powerful stuff from director George Hickenlooper who died last October 2010. Kelly Preston also stars as Jack's wife. The film is also known as "Bagman" and has gotten Golden Globe nomination, and a possible Oscar Buzz for Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey and Kelly Preston as Mr. & Mrs. Jack Abramoff: Devout Jewish family!

Barry Pepper plays Michael Scanlon, Jack's right-hand man and "best friend" who never got convicted when he turned "witness". His girlfriend-problem started the fall of Jack's empire (she learned he was sleeping with the flight attendant!)

"You schmuck!" Jack shouts at Adam!

Imeldific. In her golden years, Imelda's Hollywood allure and mystic hasn't waned!

Barry Pepper

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