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Joel Schumacher

Veronica Guerin * Joel Schumacher * 2003

The story plays in Ireland only a decade ago. The bigger cities had a big drugproblem that was denied by the government. The journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) decides that it is her mission to make this known and starts to write about the problem. Delving in the drugscene it soon becomes clear that she was very naive. Even after having been shot in her own house, she bluntly drives up to the house of the main man to ask him a few questions. Of course this doesn’t quite go as she wants. Eventually she gets killed even though she “never thought that they would kill the messenger”. Guerin’s death sure turned the tide and drugs and drug related violence suddenly were a hot topic in Ireland.
Schumacher (“Phone Booth”, “8 MM”) gives a nice idea about this part of the near past.

Phonebooth * Joel Schumacher * 2002

A man receives a call when he wants to walk out of a phonebooth. The caller appears to be a sniper who has followed his steps closely in the recent time and wants the man to pay for his sins. When the man leaves the phonebooth, he will get shot. When he complies with the snipers’ demands, he will be free; but not really… The mans sins are mostly cheating on his wife, so he has to admit to her that he does, but of course he isn’t too eager to do that. This way a whole film developes around a man in a phonebooth who can’t hang up. Things go out of hand when the sniper shoots a pimp who attacks his victim in the phonebooth and soon police and TV swarm around the booth, but the snipers keeps his grip on the man.

The idea of the film is nice, a whole film playing just in and around a space of not even 1×1 meter. Schumacher even mentions to bring tension into his film and the victim surely gets the compasion of the viewer. Unfortunately here and there the story has a flaw and also I would have had a suggestion or two for the man in the phonebooth, but overall this film is surely not dissatisfying.