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500 Five-Star: Atlantic City (1980)

August 17, 2011


Having never heard of it before starting this project, I had absolutely no idea what to expect with Atlantic City.  It was a hugely acclaimed film in its time, securing five major Oscar nominations (though winning none), and it’s no real wonder; it’s a very solid, absorbing picture about the revitalisation of shattered dreams in a city in need of its own rebuilding.  Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon are particularly memorable in the two lead roles, one constantly looking to the past and one dreaming of the future but both thrown together to deal with a violent and tragic present.  The grit and melancholy of a crumbling Atlantic City is superbly realised; at certain moments when the drama (while always entertaining) is a little by-the-number, it is the strangely endearing setting that takes the film up a level.  It’s a character in itself, at times reminding me of The Wire’s use of Baltimore…and surely there’s no higher praise than that.



While I very much enjoyed Atlantic City (way more than I expected to, if I’m honest), I doubt it will stick in my head the way other films in this project have.  For that reason, I will have to disagree with Empire by giving it only…


One Comment leave one →
  1. Emilia permalink
    August 21, 2011 4:22 pm

    This looks and sounds like something I would love. Susan Sarandon <3! I'd never heard of this film, either.

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