I know it is early in 2022 and the Oscar ceremony has just taken place but a movie that needs to be taken into consideration for next year’s awards is Graham Moore’s (writer of the award winning, “The Imitation Game”), “The Outfit.” This IS how you make a slow burning, mysterious, mobster based drama. Set in Chicago of 1956, Leonard is a cutter, (a master tailor who can expertly cut and design men’s clothes), who enjoys his quiet shop and regular clientele, which just happens to include people who do harm to others and do illegal things to make money – in other words, the mob. As long as he and his assistant, Mable, are left alone to do their job he is fine with it and stays out of it (or so he says).
As fate would have it, one night a couple of members of the mob regulars who do pickups and drops in his shop, Richie and Francis, run into the business after one of them is shot and they need a place to hide out. Leonard is even forced to ‘sew’ one of the men’s wounds together. It just so happens that this young man, Richie, is the son of one the mob heads, who is trying to work his way into a part of ‘The Outfit’, a well-known and connected mob force in the big cities. As the evening goes on, Richie and Francis get into an argument over delivering a tape to Richie’s dad (a tape that supposedly could reveal the name of a ‘rat’ who has been recording and turning information about the mob activities into the FBI) and it does not end well.
The pace and constant guessing that takes place on this film is superb and the details spot on. The acting by all is pretty good but the scene stealer is definitely Leonard, played masterfully by Mark Rylance. He is just outstanding and his mannerisms just keep you captured. As he is talking, moving, and, yes, even sewing, you are just captivated. He definitely needs to be recognized this time next year for his performance. A truly, great film!