Two Jacks
"The film has a cheap minimalistic feel, although this adds to the theme of two men who are always trying to grasp at anything that comes their way."

A modern-day adaptation of Tolstoy's short story The Two Hussars brings together two generations of an acting dynasty - with Danny Huston teaming up with his nephew Jack for this dramedy.

The piece is split into two segments in which we first encounter a down-on-his-luck veteran filmmaker Jack Hussar (Danny Huston) returning to Los Angeles. He meets a wannabe film producer Brad (Dave Pressler) who gives him a ride to his hotel. The hotel declines to give him a room until he settles up his large bill. After he asks Brad for the money, the hotel refuses him anyway. Brad takes him to a Hollywood party where he spots the beautiful socialite Diana (Sienna Miller) across the crowded room, who turns out to be Brad's sister. He later seduces her and takes her car to a poker game in order to gain financing of his latest project from a producer (Richard Portnow) who has had dealings with in the past.

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The film then cuts to 20 years later, when his son, Jack Jr (Jack Huston) arrives in L.A. to make his first movie. He is introduced to Lily (Rosie Fellner), who is the daughter of Diana (Jacqueline Bisset) and niece of Brad. He starts to fall in love with the young girl. History appears to repeat itself, however as soon becomes apparent the younger Hussar has none of his father's traits of being sly and charismatic.

The film is rather thin in characterisation and plot but it remains fairly entertaining due to the two leads. Danny is having the time of his life hamming it up as the self-obsessed, cheapskate, womanising director. Every time he is on screen the film bursts with energy. Jack, in contrast, gives a restrained performance but his character is not as interesting or as likeable as his counterpart.

The film has a cheap minimalistic feel, although this adds to the theme of two men who are always trying to grasp at anything that comes their way. Bernard Rose has shot the first half in monochromatic, almost washed out colour palette, while the second is in full colour to differentiate the time periods.

Not anywhere near Rose's best work or, in fact, his best Tolstoy adaptation, but it is strangely entertaining and compelling. The story in the past works better than the story in present day but this is purely due to Danny's fiery outspoken performance.

Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2015
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2 Jacks packshot
Legendary Hollywood director, Jack Hussar a notorious womaniser returns to Hollywood to raise financing for his next film.

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose, based on the short story by Leo Tolstoy.

Starring: Danny Huston, Sienna Miller, Billy Zane

Year: 2012

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: US


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