The Crossing Guard (1995)

Here's the hat trick of the season:  Sean Penn writes, directs, 
*and* casts former flames Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston as 
former spouses, each dealing with the death of their daughter (to a 
drunken driver) some five years after the fact.  He wants to kill 
the guy that killed her; she wants a more peaceful resolution.  
Though never completely coherent as a drama, THE CROSSING GUARD is 
still a reasonably compelling film.  The basic conflict carries the 
story through the frequent slow spots.  More interesting are the 
flashes of philosophy, when Penn pauses to ponder the nature of 
guilt.  Unfortunately, such insight is intermittent and entirely 
absent by the end.  Still, there's that cast.  Huston only has a 
handful of scenes; the best work is from Richard Jordan-look-alike 
David Morse, as the driver, and Jack, boozed-up and bloated, 
wasting his nights in a strip club, and, in one unexpected scene, 
taking the stage with one of the girls.

Grade: C+

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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