This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-02-05.

Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 2000 >> Big Night

Big Night

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 2000
IMDB Name:
Big Night (1996)
Campbell Scott
Stanley Tucci
MPAA Rating:
R for language.

Almost Flawless

At the beginning of Big Night, a customer is puzzled by the dish she's been served in an Italian restaurant. It may be perfect to someone who understands the cuisine, but that's small consolation to her. The movie itself is similar to that plate of risotto. There is nothing in it to fault, but I was not captivated by it. The acting is excellent, the story is touching, the photography is attractive, and the important characters are well developed, but I still managed to stay a little uninvolved. Even the final shot, which is a masterpiece unto itself, did not tug at my heartstrings. Perhaps I've been raised on ham-fisted approaches to drama, and Big Night proved too subtle.

Big Night is a a terrific showcase for the talents of the entire cast, but especially Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. This is my first experience with Tucci, but I'm impressed. Shalhoub is rarely given enough screen time, but Big Night gives him more than enough to shine. Even his delivery of dialogue in Italian is excellent. Ian Holm goes wild whenever he's on screen, and his dual role as an antagonist and comic relief is quite interesting. Minnie Driver and Allison Janney are both wonderful in the love interest roles.

DVD Comments

Big Night's DVD offers the movie, the trailer, and almost nothing else. The audio is available in English with occasional Italian. There are subtitles in the regular presentation of the movie for the Italian, so even with English and Spanish subtitles off, the dialogue appears translated into English. When watching the Spanish subtitles, the translation shows up above the English translation, resulting in an abnormally high stack of text intruding on the frame. The scene selector menu is unexceptional but slightly cumbersome. There are four chapters per screen, and the screens can only be accessed sequentially. With thirty-three chapters, it can take a while to get to the later scenes.

See the IMDB information on Big Night's DVD or compare prices at DVD Price Search.

Other Opinions

Copyright 2000-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.