I recently attended a special screening of the film Rampart, presented by Film Independent and the New York Times Film Club and held at the Los Angeles County Musuem of Art. Attendees included the film’s director Oren Moverman and actors Ben Foster and Brie Larson who co-star alongside Woody Harrelson. A reception was held following the screening for all Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and NY Times Film Club members.
Academy Award Nominated writer/director Oren Moverman (The Messenger), assembled an all star cast for Rampart, a movie based on an LAPD scandal from the nineties. Moverman co-wrote the script with crime fiction writer James Elroy (L.A. Confidential). The film follows the life of Dave Brown (Woody Harreslon, two-time Academy Award Nominee), as a dirty L.A. cop consumed with immorality, racism, and violence, refusing to change his ways, even though change may be the only thing that can save him. He patrols the streets at night, taking criminal matters into his own hands, and ultimately landing himself under investigation by the Rampart Police Department.
After killing an “alleged” rapist and getting away with it, he is consumed by guilt. Although in a position to display positive leadership and uphold authority, he continues to abuse his power. Years after the rapist scandal, he was caught on tape beating a man to death. When Brown’s Rampart Division gets caught up in a corruption scandal, he becomes an easy target for further investigation, including the rapist scandal from years ago. His family life is a unique story in itself. He is the father of two children from two sisters (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche), and continues to weave in and out of all of their lives, leaving chaos and sadness for them all to cope with, as he ultimately takes them with him in his downward spiral.
Ben Foster plays a homeless man who becomes witness to some of the corrupt ways of the LA Police Force, yet insists that he and Dave Brown are “brothers” through it all. Although Foster’s role was smaller than I would have like for it to have been, he also served as Producer on this film. Brie Larson (United States of Tara) plays Helen, Dave Brown’s eldest daughter who is all too aware of her father’s problems and her resulting anger is something to watch. The film also stars Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi and Ice Cube, with amazing performances by this ensemble cast.
Woody Harrelson is nominated for a 2012 Film Independent Spirit Award in the “Best Male Lead” Category for his performance in Rampart. The 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards will air on IFC at 10pm on Saturday February 25th. Actor, Seth Rogen, will serve as host of the ceremony. To learn more, please visit Film Independent and Spirit Awards.
Rampart first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and stateside at the AFI Fest in Hollywood in early November. Check out the film trailer and learn more. Rampart releases nationwide this Friday, January 27th.