People I Know
People I Know ★★½ 2002 (R)
Pacino forgoes the over-the-top style that's been his forte lately for a more restrained, meticulous portrayal of burned-out publicist Eli Wurman, and his performance saves the intriguing but muddled character study/political caper. Wurman's down to his last bigtime client, movie star Cary Launer (O'Neal), a shallow, womanizing, preening actor trying to break into politics. His bid for office is endangered when an actress with whom Launer had a drug-fueled fling is arrested. Eli is sent to bail her out, but becomes entangled in her murder and mysterious political hijinks, all while trying to stage a benefit for African refugees. Fine supporting cast delivers but plot gets a little busy for its own good when not focused on Eli's inner struggle. 95m/C VHS, DVD . US Al Pacino, Kim Basinger, Ryan O'Neal, Tea Leoni, Richard Schiff, Bill Nunn, Robert Klein, Mark Webber, Polly Adams; D: Dan Algrant; W: Jon Robin Baitz; C: Peter Deming; M: Terence Blanchard.