- Movie creates a great sense of time and place 2/21/2006 12:00:00 AM by pachl
Criss Cross takes place in Key West, 1969. The biggest success of this movie is creating a realistic sense of time and place. You can practically feel the humidity and smell the ocean in this movie.
Goldie Hawn plays a divorced mother raising her 12 year old son, played by David Arnott. I don't know the full story, but I have read that quite a few critics made rather vicious comments about David's performance. Without even taking into consideration that this was his acting debut, I thought his acting was quite good. He was likable and charming. For once, we see a kid who actually acts and talks like a kid. When you see him working (three jobs, no less), it really looks like he is working, not just going through the motions.
It might have taken some work by the acting coaches to produce the performance we see on screen, but the end result is excellent.
David also narrates the movie. I liked his relaxed, laconic speaking style. It really set the tone for the movie.
Criss Cross is a movie that stays with me because it shows a vanished world, a place and time that can't be reproduced. It is a world of living simply. Life is hard, but there is a pervasive sense of hope. It reminded me of the first time I visited Spain's Costa del Sol in 1983. The "outside world" hadn't made a dent in many of the smaller towns. You could walk into a small, family run store and see merchandise that must have been on the shelves for many years. The pace was slow, and in retrospect the days all seemed sunny and warm.
That is how this movie will make you feel.
- A good, overlooked film 9/27/1999 12:00:00 AM by BobLib
It's amazing how Goldie Hawn is almost always overlooked when she tries to play it serious, even when she's good. A perfect example of this is 1991's "Crisscross," dealing with the special relationship between a young single mother and her twelve-year old son.
Set in Key West, Florida, just prior to the first moon landing, the film is loaded with atmosphere, and the Key West scenes are beautiful (Amazing how the only film that ever shows how it can be during the hurricane season was the Paul Hogan/Elijah Wood "Flipper." But I digress.). Best of all, though, are Hawn and young David Arnott, as mother and son, both giving understated, believable performances. Young Arnott, especially, should have had a major career ahead of him. As it was, this was his only film role. Does anyone know what became of him?
The supporting actors are good, as well, particularly Arliss Howard as the writer Hawn falls in love with, and the actors, whose names escape me, playing the characters of Emmett, Bugs, and Termina.
This film is a true hidden treasure. Watch it, and you have a real treat in store.
- Delicate, evocative, and full of quiet contemplation... 10/21/2006 12:00:00 AM by moonspinner55
Young boy in the Florida Keys in late 1969 keeps tabs on his exotic dancer mom while mourning their separation from his Vietnam-scarred father. A curious choice for star Goldie Hawn, who must've seen this as an opportunity to stretch a little bit without verging too far from her proved persona; newcomer David Arnott is well-cast as Hawn's son and has an amazingly deep voice, a forthright manner and an easy gait (he's really the star who is born here). The script, which is likably littered with beach bums and hotel-residing characters, isn't particularly pointed, nor does it leave us with much at the end, but Chris Menges' direction pulls every ounce of beauty from it. When Goldie's car breaks down, it's on a concrete bridge overlooking a melancholy stretch of ocean; when Hawn and sports-writer Arliss Howard have a heart-to-heart, it's on the beach during a brilliant red sunset. This great-looking picture is a real beauty, although it is lackadaisically paced, extremely low-keyed and takes a while to expose its heart and reach its audience. *** from ****
- A pleasant little diversion. 11/22/2002 12:00:00 AM by km004a5534
This is one of those movies where the user rating seems strangely out of step with the comments on it. With one, barely worth the mention, exception, all those who have commented liked the film. I too found it a very pleasant diversion and a film that I have happily watched several times.
To my way of thinking young David Arnott does a terrific job and is absolutely charming. He plays Chris, a completely innocent kid who gets on the wrong side of the law, when he sees an opportunity to get enough cash to rescue his mother, Goldie Horn, from her new job as a stripper. It is a big ask to take a 12-year old lad with no acting experience to play what amounts to the lead in a movie and to narrate it too. It is also asking a lot for him to have to be filmed briefly in the buff in one scene. If he had a problem or two, it is hardly surprising. Nevertheless, it is his innocent charm which carries the film. There is also a nice chemistry between David Arnott and Goldie Horn.
I sincerely hope that this was not another case of the critics massacring a movie and with it a promising kid's career.
- Landing on the Moon 10/13/2003 12:00:00 AM by cmmescalona
I just came back from Key West a few days ago. It's not as it used to be. Now there's too many people going around, sightseeing, wandering and making of this beautiful town quite a noisy one.
But when they decided to shoot this film down there, there was more than enthusiasm. Actually, there was a lot of things to go amiss. Ivan Strasburg as cinematographer, dared to try out new things and made a lot of people quite uneasy about the final look of this otherwise overlooked film.
Goldie Hawn is like fish in the water throughout the whole play, based on a novella that deals with the troubles a single mother goes through just clinging on the very limits, to save her only twelve-year-old son.
It's a moving film, since Goldie really knows what to do when faced with a role in which she must be serious and troubled. She shares the screen with a young actor who really did well for his first appearance on screen (and his last one). The locations are all real. No sets, no flashy things. Just the real thing: Key West portrayed as it was. They even used the old Seven Mile Bridge in one of the scenes, that depicts beautifully those times now long gone.
The main location is what is known as Eden House, a beautiful hotel that now hosts the only museum in the world related to this movie.
The shifts of mood, the anger, the solitude, the deep anguish and the agony of being caught in the middle of the storm, are just a few of the main ingredients that make this film a beautiful work.
Maybe if you are like me, one who really loves the very few places in continental USA (if Key West can be called part of the continent) that are still far removed from the craziness of big cities... and still can think about this world as a world where family makes sense, you must see this film. It is evanescent, flimsy, almost surreal, because it's too real.
And, of course, if you can give yourself a lot of time to travel to this beautiful island, do it, and go visit Eden House. You'll go back in time just about to love this place and this film... even when you can forget about living there: it may well be one of the most expensive places on earth. But you still can visit Hemingway's hideaway in Key West or feel the pendig fear of incoming hurricanes.