"Fruit of the Poison Tree"
Directed by Woody Allen
Written by Woody Allen
Music by Jonny Greenwood
Al Pacino (Officer Tony Farrow)
Diane Lane (Felicity Farrow)
Courteney Cox (Officer Charlie Cyrus)
Patrick Wilson (Chris Trager)
Rose Byrne (Cassie Trager)
Matt Dillon (Chief Mark Lauren)
Tagline: "The Best Piece of Evidence is the One that Can Never Be Used"
Synopsis: Tony Farrow’s (Al Pacino) life is slowly unraveling. As he suspects his wife of eighteen years, Felicity (Diane Lane) is having an affair, he becomes more and more attracted to his partner Charlie Cyrus (Courteney Cox). While Charlie is hinting at her openness of an affair, being single; Tony can’t seem to bring it upon himself to break his marriage vows until he catches his wife in the act.
Felicity, covering her trails, knowing what to do from being married from an officer; Tony’s friend, Chief Mark Lauren (Matt Dillon) seems to think that he just might be paranoid. Accepting the fact of paranoia, he decides one more week of tracking to put all fears aside. However, in one of his last days of tailing his wife, he has seem to have his worst fears proven; his wife sleeping with another man, Chris Trager (Patrick Wilson).
Becoming intemperate, Tony breaks in for a confrontation but stumbles upon inside something much worse. Searching for the room his wife is making love in, Tony accidentally enters a meth lab. Succumbing his rage in curiosity, Tony starts to find chilling evidence from blood to guns to pictures of recently murdered victims to contacts of people Tony is trying to track down and put away for good.
While the evidence could give them a practical life sentence, Charlie informs Tony that it is unusable because of the ‘Fruit of the Poison Tree’ clause. A clause stating that evidence found in an illegal search is to be voided in all matters whatsoever and the officer in charge can face harsh penalties. Tony realizing his critical error; decides to confront his wife with an ultimatum. To either have her continue the affair in a way for her to legally produce convicting evidence or divorce. Distraught and sorry Felicity picks the first in what seems like the perfect plan.
Now in an intrepid game of cat and mouse, Felicity seems to be having a difficult time coming up with proof as Tony finds it difficult to watch his wife subjected to this. However, when Felicity thinks Chris’ wife, Cassie (Rose Byrne) is the ring leader with Chris being secondary, the case gets thrown through a whole other loop, though Tony refuses to believe it. Now Tony, trying to get intimate with Cassie through buying crystal meth and becoming addicted, Charlie tries to act out, though if she tells Mark on Tony; Tony would be in deep trouble either way. Watching two people she cares about spiraling out of control, the perfect set-up is turning deadly...
What the Press would say:“Two thumbs ALL THE WAY up!”-Ebert & Roeper
“A Perfect Crime, and Film!”- People
“A+! Allen proves himself as not only king of comedy but a whole other genre!”-Entertainment Weekly
“Pacino is back to what he does best with Lane and Cox becoming the most reliable actors in Hollywood!”-Rolling Stone Magazine
‘Fruit of the Poison Tree’ is a smart crime drama thriller that should find itself being called a classic.
Inspired by a true legal clause, ‘Tree’ is smart with its realism and chilling aftermath. Woody Allen trying to enter the realm of crime drama after the Academy-Award Nominee ‘Match Point’ and ‘Cassandra’s Dream’, ‘Fruit of the Poison Tree’ is his real breakthrough. Quick-paced and engrossing, Allen masterminds the twisty plot that unlike most crime thrillers, everything is tied together nicely without plot holes and offers more emotion and slightly less action than the typical crime drama. Set to the enthralling music of Johnny Greenwood, ‘Tree’ offers a unique soundtrack that plays secondary to the film in almost all scenes so it doesn’t overshadow what is being seen.
Oscar Winner Al Pacino goes back to basics and is at his best game ever as Officer Tony Farrow. Always straight-forward wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Pacino pulls off a role that most Oscar winners would be to scared to try.
Underrated Oscar nominee Diane Lane is great as usual but should finally get her place on Hollywood’s A-List in her phenomenal performance that is nicely done. While wanting her husband, she has conflicting emotions with the affair and her face never tells the audience her true feelings until a powerful end.
After spending 10 years on the small-screen in the hit sitcom ‘Friends’, Courteney Cox jumps onto the big screen in a big way. Showing her amazing dramatic range on her hit FX show ‘Dirt’, she displays her talent for a wider audience in ‘Fruit’. Watching two people she cares about spiraling out of control without being able to reach out for help, Cox pulls off the right emotions in a highly daunting challenge.
Patrick Wilson again is fabulous in a role as a smooth-talker who seems to know what is going with terrific facial expressions that fool the audience time after time. Also, fellow FX star on the award winning legal drama mystery ‘Damages’, Rose Byrne brings the same powerful talent to the silver screen as she has been on our TV sets. Matt Dillon too gives a nice dramatic turn in a smaller role that plays a big part in the end.
With a great cast, crew, story, there is nothing ‘sour’ about ‘Fruit of the Poison Tree’.
Best Director: Woody Allen
Best Screenplay: Woody Allen
Best Original Score: Johnny Greenwood
Best Actor: Al Pacino
Best Supporting Actor: Patrick Wilson, Matt Dillon
Best Supporting Actress: Diane Lane