Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Rosario Dawson (Cassidy Blake)
Tim Roth (Kendrick Martineau)
Vivica A. Fox (The Dame)
Michael Keaton (Sam Broeckel)
Harvey Keitel (Lenny)
Jennifer Hudson (Pretty Alice)
Tagline: "Make a living any way you can"
Synopsis: Cassidy Blake (Rosario Dawson) is a pricey escort working for the top dogs of Los Angeles. She services lawyers, doctors, CEOs, politicians, and many more. In some people’s minds, Cassidy is the best escort in all of Southern California. But this isn’t enough for Cassidy. Despite being the best, her boss, The Dame (Vivica A. Fox), always puts her behind Pretty Alice (Jennifer Hudson), younger sister to The Dame. Cassidy is fed up with being second string to a less popular working girl.
Kendrick Martineau (Tim Roth) considers himself to be the best con artist in the world. He’s swindled hundreds of people out of a total of $3.5 million. He’s ruined lives and families. He’s caused many men to commit suicide. But Kendrick is lacking in something, namely a wife. He is a very shy man who inherently cannot trust anyone who tries to get close to him. That is why he hires prostitutes. That’s how he and Cassidy met.
After several “meetings”, Cassidy and Kendrick come to know each other’s problems in their respective lies. Cassidy’s thrist for success clouds her judgment and she offers a solution. She will agree to become Kendrick’s wife if he agrees to con The Dame out of all her earnings and her reputation on the street. Kendrick goes along with the idea and makes a plan after some surveillance.
Kendrick reveals that The Dame isn’t alone in the world like Cassidy previously thought, but she is rather with Sam Broeckel (Michael Keaton), the lieutenant governor of California. The plan is that they would blackmail Broeckel and force The Dame to pay up.
But The Dame somehow gets wind of the plan and hires a hitman named Lenny (Harvey Keitel) to take care of the problem. Cassidy and Kendrick race against time to expose The Dame for what she is while trying to survive on the cold streets of L.A.
What the Press would say:Quentin Tarantino returns to cinema wth a new crime-comedy called “Cassidy Blake”. The film is about a high-class hooker who gets caught up in a plot to take all of her pimp’s earnings. In this movie, Tarantino departs from his past works and gives his characters with some morals and big hearts while keeping his signature grittiness in tact. This screenplay is his most fluid yet and his eye for film has never been better. He uses symbolism and puts more into his directing than has ever been done before. On directing terms, this is Tarantino’s most intellectual outing.
Rosario Dawson plays the title character in a role that accentuates all of her best attributes: her stunning sexuality, her peppy attitude, and awareness of how much power a simple flash of the eyes can hold. As a broken shell of a woman, Dawson falls into the deepest, darkest parts of humanity and makes it work to her advantage. Manipulation is her weapon and mankind is her target. Tim Roth plays Kendrick, Cassidy’s occasional lover who seeks her love in return for his talents. He plays a slick New Yorker with such ease that one would believe he’s actually gone through this situation. His best moment comes at the end when he learns that his wishes about Cassidy are nothing but wishes and he crumbles into his own dissatisfaction. Jennifer Hudson and Vivica A. Fox play daughter and mother, respectively, and equally runs rings around Cassidy but soon fall by her hands. Hudson takes what she learned in “Dreamgirls” and makes it more vulgar, resulting in one of the feistiest hookers in the world. Her comic timing and dramatic power cause her to eclipse all her other co-stars. Vivica A. Fox gives a career best as The Dame, Cassidy’s nemesis, who is too invested in her own well-being to realize that Cassidy is trying to betray her.
“Cassidy Blake” is one of the best crime-comedies of our time and could be considered Tarantino’s best for its lack of pretentiousness and mature view of the evils of our world.
Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)
Best Director-Quentin Tarantino
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor-Tim Roth
Best Actress-Rosario Dawson
Best Supporting Actress-Jennifer Hudson
Best Supporting Actress-Vivica A. Fox