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Lee Woods (James Spader) and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello) are hit men who kill Becky Foxx's (Teri Hatcher) ex-husband, Roy (Peter Horton), to collect on his insurance policy. Lee then shoots Dosmo, but doesn't realise he's wearing a bulletproof vest, nor does he realise that Becky, also in on the murder plot, forgot to get money from her safe. Lee has to return to the house, while Dosmo takes wealthy snob Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell) and his assistant, Susan Parish (Glenne Headly), hostage while he tries to figure out what to do next. Meanwhile vice cops Alvin Strayer (Jeff Daniels) and Wes Taylor (Eric Stoltz) have picked up Becky and reported the crime, and later she meets with Lee's girlfriend and accomplice, Helga Svelgen (Charlize Theron). In a subplot that leads back to the situation at Allan's home, his sister Audrey Hopper (Marsha Mason) meets the suicidal Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky) who wants to find his dog a home so that he can kill himself. Eventually everyone comes together in one lst violent scene where everything is resolved.

"Off beat, quirky and darkly comic, 2 Days in the Valley brings together a delicious assortment of enticingly drawn characters, so colourful they burst from the screen. John Herzfeld’s compelling screenplay and direction is so overtly black, even moments preceding violence and murder become almost farcial. Beautifully cast, each character has a multitude of foibles that are intriguing and hypnotic. How the fates of this licorice all-sorts characters intersect and become intertwined is mouth wateringly anticipated, while we enjoy many of life’s little ironie. We learn much about the characters from images alone, while effective editing juxtapositions scenes such as an erotic sexual encounter with a vigorous stirring of delectable pasta simmering on the stove. A selection of rhythmic laid back blues and jazz sets the tone, but it’s the characters that capture the imagination. Put together a control freak monster obsessed by time (James Spader is hypnotic), a has-been hit man with an unstable toupe (Danny Aiello is perfect), a paranoid, selfish art dealer (Greg Crutwell; "I worked hard to become an arsehole"), his downtrodden secretary (Glenne Headley, in a performance not unlike the one she played in Dirty Scoundrels), and two small town cops (Jeff Daniels is wonderfully on the edge), the development of the relationship between Audrey (Marsha Mason) and suicidal film director Teddy (Paul Mazursky) is terrific. Teri Hatcher is great to watch, as is newcomer Charlize Theron: the girls’ fight scene is one you’ll remember. Not everyone will get this film, but for those who appreciate the delectable rewards of black comedy, this is an encounter with substantial rewards."
Louise Keller

"Here's one of those quirky little American films that tend to be lost in the huge Hollywood shuffle. When the film opened to mixed reviews in the US last year, comparisons were unfairly made with the likes of Pulp Fiction. Yet 2 Days in the Valley is a refreshingly original, off-the-wall black comedy with liberal doses of film noir deliciously integrated in the mix. This is a film about misplaced characters trying to find themselves in an isolated world, and they are an extraordinary bunch, from the dim, good-hearted hit man (perfectly played by Danny Aiello), to the snobbish art dealer's plain Jane assistant, sublimely played by an unrecognisable Glenne Headly. Director Paul Mazursky makes a welcome return to the screen as an actor, hilarious as a suicidal film maker, and Eric Stoltz is perfect as the naďve young cop who learns some home truths. There's also a surprisingly effective performance by Teri Hatcher. In fact, 2 Days in the Valley is a film full of unexpected surprises, an engaging, exciting and witty exploration of the human psyche in the upper echelons of Los Angeles society. With a wonderfully observant script and performances to match, this is a film well worth discovering."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Danny Aiello, Greg Cruttwell, Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Glenne Headly, Peter Horton, Marsha Mason, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Eric Stoltz, Charlize Theron

DIRECTOR: John Herzfeld

PRODUCER: Jeff Wald, Herb Nanas

SCRIPT: John Herzfeld


EDITOR: Jim Miller

MUSIC: Anthony Marinelli

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Catherine Hardwicke

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 4, 1997



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