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Aug 09 2007

2007’s Movies List: #28

Wow, it’s been eight days since I posted another one of my movies into my Top 30 ever? Okay, well I’m ready to tell you all about this movie made in 2002.

#28: “Changing Lanes”

I think there were some films overlooked at the Oscars in 2002 (as there are every year), but this is one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be in every movie. While I’ve seen many films with him in it, there’s still quite a few films he stars in that I haven’t seen. Here he plays a man simply looking for custody of his two boys. Ben Affleck plays a man simply looking to get to work on time. He has to turn in a power of appointment today. Affleck’s character changes lanes and strands Jackson’s character, who also has to make it to his hearing on time. Because Affleck is in a rush, he just leaves the guy, even though apologizing. It goes from there as the movie goes from sequence to sequence with both of the guys struggling because of the incident. What we find as it progresses, though, is that they are really struggling because of each other. Affleck does one thing, Jackson does another.

While it could have been a really weak and boring plot to follow, the dialogue is so spot-on and grounded that we sit back and marvel at how it all fits together so nicely. Both of these guys are humans, but in that kind of powerless state, we see how everything goes together to put one person ahead of another in this series of events. They both find some solace in the incident, though the events that transpire certainly change both of their lives. Jackson can no longer see his boys, and Affleck has forged a document. While the ending is satisfying, we see that it is what leads to the ending that make it so great.

This film wasn’t well-received, but I think that’s because too many people see this film as a simple start to finish with not much in the middle. Granted, the film doesn’t give us a huge emotional ride. Instead, it takes us through a very real scenario for two people and very real ideas that done through anger, leads to these kind of disastrous results. It’s a film that’s more accessible than the newer “Crash”, and while not as good (okay; hint, hint…) still hold ground in being a very satisfying exploration of two people’s predicaments.