PEOPLE I KNOW

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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: April 23, 2003

Starring: Al Pacino, Kim Basinger, Tea Leoni, and Ryan O'Neal

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults REVIEWER: Jerry
Langford In PEOPLE I KNOW, New
York publicist Eli Wurman (Al
Pacino) is on his way out. He
just does not realize it yet.
His only movie star client,
Cary Launer (Ryan O'Neal), is
about to fire him for a
younger, more energetic
version of the talented
Eli. Back in his glory days,
Eli was a powerful publicist
with big name clients and
contacts. Today, he is a
dinosaur in the industry,
alternately criticizing the
vacuousness of the industry
while longing for greater
power to accomplish something
worthwhile. He romanticizes
those bygone days and
mournfully regrets what his
life has become. Eli spends
much of his days regretting
his life's choices, mourning
loved ones long gone, and
searching for meaning in his
empty existence. His one
salvation, in his own
estimation, is an upcoming
celebrity benefit he has
organized to help Nigerian
refugees embroiled in a legal
crisis. His priority then is
to devote much time promoting
and recruiting media darlings
to support his
cause. Compounding the stress
and problems in his life,
Launer asks him to bail out
and babysit a young spoiled
starlet, Jilli (Tea Leoni), a
woman he refers to as "an
awkward." Jilli's indulgences
only remind Eli of the
superficiality of the
celebrity life and the
shallowness of his own weak
fate. Eli sees the excesses of
stardom: the drugs, the sex,
the privilege of wealth. Once
again, he relents and is
pulled further into its stormy
vortex. He loathes everything,
yet cannot break away from the
intoxicating position of
power. Unknown to Eli, Jilli
has secretly videotaped some
powerful people at a drug and
sex party downtown. Her plan
to expose these people leads
to her death, leaving Eli with
the evidence and the ensuing
tough choices to make. Eli
ultimately confesses that he
is a person with "no real
center, no real soul." PEOPLE
I KNOW is a darker East Coast
version of Robert Altman's THE
PLAYER. It may be a morality
tale of the celebrity life, or
it may be an exaggeration of
that world's excesses. Still,
it is a picture rife with
unlikable characters and
issues of loyalty, power,
corruption, and spin. Director
Dan Algrant, tackling this
story as his second feature
film, adequately captures the
feeling of those trapped by
the trappings. Jilli reminds
Eli early on, "Everybody's
looking for an out clause."
Eli, worldly wise but still
shocked by the overindulgence
he sees, utters the best line:
"We don't live in a time with
a morals clause." PEOPLE I
KNOW approaches greatness when
it contrasts the world's real
news with the self-serving
importance that celebrities
believe is newsworthy.
Unfortunately, for all its
preaching, PEOPLE I KNOW
indulges in sin as much as the
kind of people it is
criticizing. Even the credits
acknowledge the coordinator of
product placement. The viewer
is left with an odd assortment
of maudlin moments, whispers
of Jewish conspiracies willing
to kill any in their way, and
self-centered stars who are
really good guys after all. In
more experienced directorial
hands, this might have been a
terrific movie. The talented
cast makes this barely
watchable. Most frustrating,
though, is Pacino's garbled
accent, which never quite
comes off as believable or
interesting. Save yourself
from a starkly depressing
experience and avoid PEOPLE I
KNOW. Please address your
comments to: Bob and Harvey
Weinstein Co-Chairmen Miramax
Films 375 Greenwich Street New
York, NY 10013 Phone: (323)
822-4100 & (212) 941-3800 Fax:
(212) 941-3846 Website:
www.miramax.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 99 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(HH, B, Ho, AcapACap, AP, AbAb, Fr, LLL, V, S, NN, AA, DDD, MM) Humanist worldview as seen through the lives of those in the entertainment industry with a few moral messages against the wrongdoings as well as issues of racism, anti-capitalism, anti-government feelings, Jewish conspiracies, and homosexual references intimated, and a reverend declares "We have Jesus and Allah," later labeled as a false prophet; foul language includes eight blasphemies, 50 strong obscenities (about 30 "f-words"), several uses of "Oh my God" as exasperation, and comments describing an actor as "a god"; violence includes murder by drugging, stabbing, fighting, and implied rape; briefly shown video of illicit behavior implied with obscured images; brief scene of upper female and upper male nudity and woman shown in revealing blouse; excessive use of drugs, alcohol and smoking; and, family values ridiculed briefly, some arguments made against the self-destructive behavior depicted, themes of deception and lying and betrayal and promiscuity; and the pursuit of power is rebuked.

GENRE: Drama

HH

Ho

B

AcapAcap

AP

AbAb

FR

LLL

V

S

NN

AA

DDD

MM

Summary:

In PEOPLE I KNOW, New York publicist Eli Wurman, played by Al Pacino, romanticizes days gone by and regrets what his life has become. PEOPLE I KNOW may be a humanist morality tale of the celebrity life or it may be a humanist exaggeration of that world's excesses, but for all its preaching, it indulges in sin as much as the kind of people it is criticizing.

Review:

In PEOPLE I KNOW, New York publicist Eli Wurman (Al Pacino) is on his way out. He just does not realize it yet. His only movie star client, Cary Launer (Ryan O'Neal), is about to fire him for a younger, more energetic version of the talented Eli.

Back in his glory days, Eli was a powerful publicist with big name clients and contacts. Today, he is a dinosaur in the industry, alternately criticizing the vacuousness of the industry while longing for greater power to accomplish something worthwhile. He romanticizes those bygone days and mournfully regrets what his life has become.

Eli spends much of his days regretting his life's choices, mourning loved ones long gone, and searching for meaning in his empty existence. His one salvation, in his own estimation, is an upcoming celebrity benefit he has organized to help Nigerian refugees embroiled in a legal crisis. His priority then is to devote much time promoting and recruiting media darlings to support his cause.

Compounding the stress and problems in his life, Launer asks him to bail out and babysit a young spoiled starlet, Jilli (Tea Leoni), a woman he refers to as "an awkward." Jilli's indulgences only remind Eli of the superficiality of the celebrity life and the shallowness of his own weak fate. Eli sees the excesses of stardom: the drugs, the sex, the privilege of wealth. Once again, he relents and is pulled further into its stormy vortex. He loathes everything, yet cannot break away from the intoxicating position of power.

Unknown to Eli, Jilli has secretly videotaped some powerful people at a drug and sex party downtown. Her plan to expose these people leads to her death, leaving Eli with the evidence and the ensuing tough choices to make. Eli ultimately confesses that he is a person with "no real center, no real soul."

PEOPLE I KNOW is a darker East Coast version of Robert Altman's THE PLAYER. It may be a morality tale of the celebrity life, or it may be an exaggeration of that world's excesses. Still, it is a picture rife with unlikable characters and issues of loyalty, power, corruption, and spin. Director Dan Algrant, tackling this story as his second feature film, adequately captures the feeling of those trapped by the trappings. Jilli reminds Eli early on, "Everybody's looking for an out clause." Eli, worldly wise but still shocked by the overindulgence he sees, utters the best line: "We don't live in a time with a morals clause."

PEOPLE I KNOW approaches greatness when it contrasts the world's real news with the self-serving importance that celebrities believe is newsworthy. Unfortunately, for all its preaching, PEOPLE I KNOW indulges in sin as much as the kind of people it is criticizing. Even the credits acknowledge the coordinator of product placement. The viewer is left with an odd assortment of maudlin moments, whispers of Jewish conspiracies willing to kill any in their way, and self-centered stars who are really good guys after all. In more experienced directorial hands, this might have been a terrific movie. The talented cast makes this barely watchable. Most frustrating, though, is Pacino's garbled accent, which never quite comes off as believable or interesting.

Save yourself from a starkly depressing experience and avoid PEOPLE I KNOW.

Please address your comments to:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein

Co-Chairmen

Miramax Films

375 Greenwich Street

New York, NY 10013

Phone: (323) 822-4100 & (212) 941-3800

Fax: (212) 941-3846

Website: www.miramax.com

In Brief: