February 21, 2020

Polskys’ ‘Bad Lieutenant’: Best film of the decade or homecourt advantage?

Illustrious film critic Roger Ebert has weighed in with his top ten films of the decade and an unlikely contender has made his list: Werner Herzog’s “The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” the first produced feature from newcomer brothers Alan and Gabe Polsky, who just so happen to hail from Ebert’s hometown of Chicago.

While the film received a healthy mix of criticism when released (David Denby of The New Yorker wrote, “The film is a mess, but it’s certainly not dull”), Ebert was unsparing in his praise and awarded the film four stars. Not a bad commendation for Hollywood’s hottest amateurs—who also graced our cover last December as “The Next Moguls”—question mark.

Last week, Ebert named ‘Bad Lieutenant’ one of the best films of the decade, among an eminent list of films that includes, Jason Reitman’s “Juno,” Charlize Theron’s Oscar-turn in “Monster,” Spike Lee’s post 9/11 pic “The 25th Hour” and one of this year’s top Oscar contenders, “The Hurt Locker.”

The Polskys ‘Bad Lieutenant’ is a wild, chaotic adventure that features the best Nicolas Cage performance since “Leaving Las Vegas” (and we all know how badly he needed a hit). But is it tops of the decade? We may have to chalk that one up to a bit of fatherly pride.

Read my profile of Alan and Gabe Polsky:

Two weeks before the theatrical release last month of their first feature film, “The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” producers Alan and Gabe Polsky threw themselves a coming-out ball.

As newcomers in Hollywood, the Polsky brothers sought a venue that would send all the right messages to all the right people: Bungalow One at the storied Chateau Marmont, the legendary hotel steeped in Hollywood history and glamour, where they could earn cachet simply by being seen there.

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