Cameron Williams’s “The Counselor” Captures the Best of Film Noir
By Marcus Julianus, Associate Critic
Despite a laborious beginning, Cameron Williams’s “Review—The Counselor” has a grand old time describing despicable people doing despicable things, making the point that such characters can be entertaining without being glamorized. It’s an interesting point that Williams expounds with expertise, turning this fine review into something both fun and insightful.
The critic’s prose, once past the opening paragraph, is pure pleasure, with each sentence sliding easily to the next. Phrases such as “McCarthy’s words sting with every piece of dialogue” and “Fassbender glides through scenery like a corporate snake” shows a critic at the top of his game and confident in his abilities. Audiences should also enjoy his turns of phrase, such as “Bardem appears like a clown in bronzed make-up” and “you can sense the sociopath beneath the piles of oversize gold jewelry,” reminding them of the best in film noir and crime pulp fiction.
Williams’ point that criminals do not have to be glamorized to make a good film is a valid one. Time and again he shows how the film displays the absurdity of such characters with the menace hiding just underneath. By the time one is finished with this fine work, he or she knows what she is getting into watching the film without the critic giving away too much.