Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Bio-pics are usually something I don't enjoy. In my opinion they either are too depressing as they only focus on the time when the persons life was at its darkest, or they turn into a history lesson. With Tucker: The Man and His Dream, its the complete opposite. While some of the details are changed, such as the time frame and number of children he had, the story mirrors the real life events as best as they could and still make an entertaining film.

Plot Summary: The true story of Preston Tucker, the innovative automobile designer, who was frustrated, and ultimately destroyed, in his efforts to manufacture the perfect American car in the years following World War II.

The plot I found to be thoroughly enjoyable, and it was still educational in the fact that you learned about the man and the story of the roadblocks that were put in front of his dream. The film strikes a balance between focusing on Tucker and his car, though sometimes it is unbalanced in my eyes. Despite this it certainly was an interesting plot to see on film, even if it doesn't tell the story with 100% historical accuracy.

The direction of the film was brilliant in my opinion. The way Francis Ford Coppola had scene transitions which were outstanding. Blending scenes from being in one room and suddenly we're in another location seamlessly, I felt this was a great directing choice. The film has style shots and they actually meant something unlike some films which set up shots for no reason.

The acting was outstanding, lead by Jeff Bridges in the title role. Bridges was able to play the character with such enthusiasm that he almost seems like it would be a caricature of Howard Hughes, but the real Preston Tucker was like this. Bridges' performance was also great in the fact that you never knew what to expect from him. For example there is a scene where Elias Koteas's character changes a design and at first you think hes gonna go off on him...he then offers him a raise. Great work by Bridges and I would recommend the film just for him.

 Speaking of  Howard Hughes, Dean Stockwell had a great but brief cameo as Hughes in the film.

The supporting actors including Christian Slater, Elias Koteas, Mako and Joan Allen really round out the cast. While they all did a great job, I feel the best performance from the supporting actors was from Martin Landau. The way he reacted to the events laid before him, specifically his expression to finding out that Tucker didn't actually have a car to start with were priceless. Add the scene with him and Jeff Bridges where he gives a heartfelt dialog about "catching Tucker's dream" and its easy to see why this earned him an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor in the role.

This film was a good look at the legacy of  Preston Tucker, even if it was shown from the perspective of an outsider. It could have used a closer look at the man himself what made him tick etc., where as the real "star" of this film is the car. A good picture nonetheless.

Grade 7/10


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