Pushing Tin

Year: 1999
Production Co: Art Linson Productions
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Mike Newell
Producer: Art Linson
Cast: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Jake Weber
Back before Angelina Jolie was the Biggest Star on the Planet she was still doing kooky comedies like this one.

The name comes from the decidedly archaic system US air traffic controllers used at least as recently as the end of the 20th century - where flights would be indicated by slices of tin in a wall-mounted rack, to be removed when they'd touched down.

Nick (Cusack) is top dog among his colleagues, a legend in his own industry who can stack them and bring them in like nobody else. When the enigmatic Russell (Thornton) shows up, claiming Native American ancestry and quietly proceeding to knock Nick off his hallowed perch, tensions flare between the two men.

Or rather, they flare in Nick while Russell seems unflappable. Not only is his icy skill unsettling, his svelte wife Mary (Jolie) gets under Nick's skin too, seemingly all too ready to cry on his shoulder at her troubles and virtually throw herself at him.

For such a strange premise, the film isn't really saying anything, it's simply a comic deconstructions of a man's sanity as everything from his secure job to the marriage to his own loving wife (Blanchett) threatens to come undone. Interesting and funny enough to amuse.

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