Saturday, August 30, 2008


Anyone see this flick?

I caught it yesterday on cable and wondered why I’d never heard of it. It’s a story about desperation and family ties and love and secrets and corruption and apathy on and near the Lokota “Indian” reservation in the Dakotas.

The screenplay was adapted from a novel, and the novelist’s name, as well as the screenwriter and director all sound “Anglo” to me—Jennifer D. Lyne, Adrian C. Louis and Chris Eyre—but the cast is almost all Native American and excellent.

Especially the two leads, Graham Greene and Eric Schweig—whose names don’t sound very Native American either, come to think of it.

Schweig has some difficult scenes to act and is consistently good, though not consistently great. But Greene.

It’s an Oscar worthy performance if I ever saw one. Greene plays an active alcoholic better than anyone I’ve seen try that kind of thing, including Nick Cage’s excellent performance, for the most part, in LEAVING LAS VEGAS, for which he did win an Oscar.

But Graham Greene in SKINS is worth the price of the rental. Amazing performance. Fearless and masterful. In fact the whole film almost becomes a demonstration of great acting on Greene’s part, showing the others how to do it, and upping their game.

There was a documentary on Brando on Turner Classic Movies also yesterday, in which many actors, old and young explained why for a certain kind of film actor, including me, Brando is the greatest who ever practiced the art. More than one of them expressed their experience that acting with him elevated their game, made it in many ways easier to do better, as is often the case for those working with greatness. Well Greene does the same in SKINS.

Ever since I (and probably a lot of us) first dug his acting in DANCES WITH WOLVES, Greene has struck me as a really good actor. But SKINS elevates him to a whole other level. Check it out if you can.


douglang said...

Michael, I agree with you about Skins. I hadn't heard of it either until it appeared on cable this last week. Graham Greene was extraordinarily good, indeed. Eric Schweig was excellent,also. He was a great Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans, as well.

Anonymous said...

Good piece. For more info on Adrian Louis, you might go to his web page at