Alison Lohman got screwed

Ridley Scott set out to fill some time with this comedy thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell. He had some hours to kill before embarking on big budget epics like Kingdom of Heaven and Tripoli, so he opted to helm this big screen adaptation of Eric Garcia’s bestseller. While having such fantastic quirky actors as Cage and Rockwell delivering excellent performances would be enough for most movies, they actually don’t deliver the film’s best work. That honor goes to Alison Lohman, an incredible 24-year-old actress who does a remarkable job of portraying the 14-year-old daughter of Cage’s character. Lohman, who renders herself unrecognizable in the role, pulled off one of 2003’s greatest acting feats alongside Charlize Theron’s physical transformation in Monster. She was my pick for the year’s Best Supporting Actress and, of course, she didn’t even get an Oscar nomination, probably because most Academy members figured she was actually 14. Cage does some of his best work in years as an obsessive compulsive conman forced to deal with his long-lost daughter, and the great Rockwell provides reliable comic relief as his partner-in-crime. While it’s a smaller film, it’s still one of Ridley Scott’s, so it looks fantastic. The film’s final twist is a great kicker, and while Cage is terrific, it is Lohman who provides this film’s most lasting impressions.

Special Features: There is an excellent behind-the-scenes documentary entitled Tricks of the Trade. It includes such treats as Scott expressing disbelief at Lohman’s age and fascinating details like the production’s use of an office building as an airport substitute due to filming restrictions after 9/11. Scott always does excellent audio commentaries, and this disc is no exception. Consumers can opt to buy a package that also includes the film’s soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.

Movie: B+

Special Features: B

Geek Factor: 6