Flawless [VHS]
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Product Description

Who could possibly be the target audience for Flawless? Walter (Robert De Niro) is a homophobic policeman who suffers a stroke while responding to gunshots in his own apartment building; for speech therapy, he starts taking singing lessons from his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman of Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and Happiness), a gay drag queen who's saving up money for a sex-change operation. However, there's another story line that takes up at least as much time as that one, about a drug dealer and his goons trying to find money that was stolen from them, brutally beating up everyone in their path. Furthermore, the local gay community (in New York City) seems to consist entirely of drag queens and Log Cabin Republicans, and one of Walter's cop buddies goggles at drag queens as if he's just arrived from the middle of Iowa. All the characters--including various prostitutes, drug dealers, a hotel clerk who's a weaselly mama's boy, as well as the aforementioned drag queens and cops--are horrific stereotypes. De Niro and Hoffman, both extremely talented actors, do all they can to overcome their clich¨¦-studded dialogue, but they never seem to be in the same movie. Written and directed by Joel Schumacher, whose eclectic career includes Batman & Robin, A Time to Kill, Flatliners, and St. Elmo's Fire. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • SEYMOUR HOFFMAN IS FLAWLESS
    There is one reason and one reason only to see this film and that is the heartbreaking tour de force put on by Seymour Hoffman. He is fantastic in this part of a f**ked up Drag Queen and his interaction with a homophobic stroke victim, Deniro, there is another diverging story of stock Hollywood psychos, in pursuit of something they think Hoffman posseses, but it's really the interaction between Hoffman and Deniro that resonates and makes this film worth viewing. I appreciated how Hoffman played this character, like he really knew her/him, and there is one scene that will stay with me forever, it's just wrenching to watch..anyway, enjoy!!.. ...more info
  • Weird
    I don't often turn off a movie, but after twenty minutes both my wife and I looked at each other and said "I told you not to rent this!". Men in dresses...dark rooms...no plot...bad acting...cliches... rubbish! Don't waste your money. When I logged on to write a review to this movie I noticed it had received some very high ratings and initally I assumed that there must be two movies called 'flawless' but there aren't...different tastes I suppose and we are all free to comment. But I suspect that if you are straight, don't like transvestites and think Robert DeNero is an excellent actor then don't rent this movie....more info
  • Awesome!
    New product,unbelieveable price! Was so excited to find!
    recieved jst in time for xmas! Perfect!...more info
  • Flawless is PERFECT
    Great story, great characters, superb acting, amazing direction and flawless cinematography. From the highs and lows of the characters to the absolute amazing performances of these individuals, I believe it is one of my favorite movies. Yes, I believe it's true. I'm neither gay, macho or a drag queen. I just love good movie characters, and this one hits the bulls eye!...more info
  • some people just don't get it
    I just finished watching "Flawless," and read quite a number of reviews.

    It would seem would be critics think themselves clever when they state; "Flawless is anything but." The major flaw here is that they seem to have missed the point entirely. The point of "Flawless," - as I see it - is that NONE of us are flawless. What one may have thought was flawed in this movie, another may think was what gave it substance. I don't believe Schumacher was trying to make a flawless movie.

    I for one really enjoyed this movie, and thought the exploration of the characters and relationships was well done. Particularly when DeNiro has an awakening and sees that "Rusty," is indeed very much a woman - trapped in a mans body. What's even more poetic about this realization is that the source of this revelation comes from the very "women," that he once thought was nothing but a whore.

    I've also heard it said that this movie was predictable and stereo-typed the "drag queen," . The question I ask is how many of these critics actually know any Drag Queens, and shouldn't the mere fact that it had actual professional female impersonators given it some credability. Now the critics give Hoffman a deserving applause for his performance - he WAS brilliant.

    On a final note, a "flawless" movie simply doesn't exsist. Flaws are like beauty- they are in the eye of the beholder. As for the predictability of the movie, and it's ending, let me ask this. How many times in your own life have conflicts came to a predictable end, that in the beginning you were just too narrow minded to see? DeNiro was initially too narrow minded to see the value of a person - "Rusty," and in the end came to realize the value of the friendship. Hey that's REAL LIFE stuff, sure with some melodrama thrown in but I don't think Schumacher was going for the understated.

    Lighten up you nasty critics, and just enjoy feeling at peace at the end of this movie instead of suicidal. What's wrong with a movie with a happy ending....more info

  • A Study In Humanity
    A retired, conservative New York City policeman and a drag queen manage to overcome some significant barriers between them, to form an alliance for their mutual benefit in "Flawless," written and directed by Joel Schumacher. In his apartment building, Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) suffers a stroke while coming to the aid of some neighbors who are trying to elude a gunman; two people are killed in what turns out to be a matter concerning some money stolen from a local drug dealer. Walter ends up with his right side paralyzed, barely able to walk, and his speech impaired; which is one of the major obstacles he must learn to overcome. He is encouraged to try singing lessons in an effort to learn how to speak again. To that end, he enlists the help of a neighbor, with whom he had heretofore been at odds, a drag queen named Rusty Zimmerman (Philip Seymour Hoffman). "Busty Rusty," as he is billed at the club where he works, is saving for a sex-change operation, and can use the extra money, so he accepts the job. This leads to an unlikely bond between Walter, a man who values his independence, and Rusty, a tortured soul who wouldn't wish his life upon anyone. Rusty can identify with the sense of isolation Walter is feeling from being unable to do for himself any longer; he understands his self-pity, and helps him try to get past it: "I've been to that pity-party myself," Rusty tells him. Meanwhile, the tension throughout the building remains high; the drug dealer is convinced that his money is being kept by one of the residents, and the constant presence of his hired goons becomes a menace to everyone who lives there. Ultimately Walter and Rusty become involved in it, which leads to a climax that pointedly illustrates the magnanimity of the human spirit. De Niro, as expected, turns in a sterling performance here; he is so physically convincing, shading Walter's disability with such finesse, that you forget that this is an actor playing a role. There is no De Niro on the screen; this is, in fact, a man named Walter Koontz. Hoffman, as well, turns in a brilliant performance, imbuing Rusty with every nuance; he aptly conveys his subtle anxieties and the rancor that surrounds him, and with which he must live, every day of his life. Skipp Sudduth does a good job, also, as Walter's friend, Tommy, who must work through his own confusion in dealing with Walter's situation, and the people with which he now finds him involved; before the stroke, drag queens were definitely not a part of their immediate circle of friends. The supporting cast includes Barry Miller (Leonard), Christopher Bauer (Jacko), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Tia) and Karina Arrovave (Amber). Schumacher has deftly crafted a character study that examines diversity and proffers the rewards of a symbiotic existence. The message is that no one is flawless; we're imperfect creatures living together in an imperfect world, and if we can only get beyond ourselves and our prejudices, we just may find that gold at the end of the rainbow. "Flawless" is not without it's own flaws, either; some of the scenes involving the other drag queens and some of the criminal elements are somewhat overplayed at times, but that's a minor complaint. This film is deeply felt without being sentimental, and sheds some light on the human condition. It holds up a mirror to all of us, and asks the flawless among us to step forward....more info
  • Entertainment With A Difference
    This is a story about a homophobic cop (Robert De Niro). He became paralyzed in a shooting and had to seek help by way of speech therapy from the very kind of person he scorned......his homosexual/drag queen/queer neighbor(Philip Seymour Hoffman).It shows the challenges experienced on both sides especially that of the homophobic in arriving at some common ground and mutualy coming to the assistance of each other in tough times. Quite frankly I caught this movie after it had started and did not realise it had a gay theme. If I had......most likely I would not have viewed it. Admittedly though it caught me by suprise when I found it quite entertaining....more info
  • This movie can only be viewed satisfactorily if you do not take it seriously
    Nothing about this film happens in real life. A cop with no tolerance for drag queens doesn't suddenly find himself dancing with them at a party. Gay republicans, I doubt, act like they are anything but gay and work feverishly to undermine there own lifestyle. And a "tough as nails" hero cop, probably doesn't go from hating those "m----r f-----g" fags to singing along with one : "bannana manna, bo bana, fee fi fo fana, etc. etc. etc. There is lots here to force you to stretch your imagination beyond what a film of its genre would ask you to do. Speaking of genre - hmmmm, suspenseful comedic drama....that seems to sum it up. Maybe this film trys to be too many things. Then again, it does have it's moments. DeNiro is always fun to watch and Hoffman does have a few really funny one liners. Hoffman is way over the top with his character. ...more info
  • Outstanding Performances
    As usual, DeNiro gives a fine performance. Outstanding is Philip Seymour Hoffman as a drag queen. The movie teaches us not to judge others too quickly. When the chips are down we may be surprised to discover who our real friends are and who has been using us. A film well worth seeing....more info
  • Flawless
    Flawless is pretty much a flawless film. Robert De Niro and Philip Symour Hoffman will break your heart. I love this movie...character-driven all the way....more info
  • Offbeat movie with a point
    `Flawless' is an offbeat story about Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) an ex-cop who suffers a stroke and loses partial ability to speak. In an effort to regain some of his speech capabilities it is recommended to him that he take singing lessons. So he decides to ask his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is a female impersonator, to give him singing lessons. This is an unlikely pairing because Walter is a belligerent homophobe.

    This film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher. His story, though peculiar, makes some powerful points. This is a story about hatred, bigotry and reconciliation. Walter learns through his disability who his friends really are, and who they are not. It seems that the people he hates treat him a lot better than the people he thought he loved. Ultimately, he is able to look past his prejudices to find the human elements that make him and Rusty not so different after all.

    This was an excellent character study of both main characters, giving a lot of insight into the motivations and lives of each. Unfortunately, the story meanders too often to irrelevant characters and scenes that don't really contribute much (like the Gay Republicans). Schumacher would have been better to concentrate on the relationship between Walter and Rusty rather than digressing so frequently into Rusty's relationships with his friends.

    De Niro was outstanding in this film. Not only was he excellent in the emotional portrayal of a man having to deal with a sudden debilitating stroke, but he was very realistic in his portrayal of the physical disability itself. The combination of his struggles to do the simplest of tasks and the obvious look of anguish and frustration on his face was poignant and affecting.

    Hoffman brought a lot of emotional energy to his part, and his imitation of a drag queen was passable, though somewhat forced and unnatural. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Cha-Cha, the winner of the Flawless contest, was a much more convincing queen.

    I rated this film a 7/10. This is a good film that helps us understand that the remedy for the fear wrought of our differences is understanding, not hatred. In that respect it makes an important contribution. If cross dressing and blatantly gay themes put you off, perhaps you should defy your inclinations and see it....more info

  • This Taxi Driver 2
    In Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro hates the city, becomes very radical against all norms of untraditional behaviour, and ends up in a gunbattle with wimps and prostitution to rescue Jodie Foster.
    In this movie, all the same threads are still there. One can imagine that they young Taxi Driver has become a cop (because he liked guns and he is straightforward and a vigilante in Txi Driver). It also sounds as if he is still living in the same apartment (see Taxi Driver), and the second half the movie is very similar to Taxi Driver. Here is De Niro the gallant hero up to rescue another Jodie Foster but this time it is Rusty the Drag Queen. Now the question is why would de Niro would do a movie that resembles more or less a "whatever happened the young taxi driver?". It seems to me the movie Flawless is telling us that he ended up a cop and won many medals, and he still braving the odds and attacking bad people. except that he has a change of mind about the "scum of society". He seems to be more accepting of homosexuals in Flawless and this is a character development that the director of the film wanted us to see compared to Taxi Driver. Also, in one seen Rusty mentions to Robert De Niro that he is "no Jodie Foster".

    For these reasons, I believe that Flawless is Taxi Driver 2. Do you agree? ...more info
  • Surprisingly mediocre for these actors
    I found this movie categorized under comedy on Netflix, but it's hardly a comedy. More like a dramedy. The whole drug deal/money thing in the plot line is confusing at best, and really detracts from what otherwise could've been a cute story. The whole thing, however, is just so unbelievable, it takes a lot of imagination to put aside the obvious problems with the story. It's almost like it was a longer movie that got chopped down to a small one. And there's just no way a homophobic guy like DeNiro's character will hook up with the drag queen for singing lessons.....it'd never happen....more info
  • Over the top and bizzar
    The movie was enjoyable and entertaining. I felt that most stereotypes got used a great deal and that the story was a bit strange. De Niro did an excellant job of being an old dog that hates new tricks and hates Gays. His role was believable and his vocal trainer ( Drag Queen ) was totally over the top but since I have known a few that are just as over the top as him, I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the film. The film quality was good and it had some good comic moments. I realize that the message was meant to be deep however I felt the movie was lacking soul. I never got drawn in to the point I forgot it was a movie, not even for a few minutes. It's an enjoyable movie for an evening sitting in front of the tube but not one you would strongly suggest friends rent or see particularly. I very much enjoy De Niro and wish I could be more possitive and up beat about my review however I can not with all honesty....more info
  • Flawed and fabulous.
    No, this isn't a perfect movie. No, it won't change any small minds. Yes, it is a fantastic ode to friendship and heroism of many kinds. Though this movie has none of the heavy-handedness of message movies, it has two very clear messages: friendship comes through seeing similarities not differences and sometimes it takes heroism just to live your daily life.

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a revelation in this movie. Robert De Niro is impeccable. Even Barry Miller (remember him from Fame?) does a great job in what should be a throwaway role as the devious hotel clerk.

    But there is more going on here than amazing performances. Rusty, Hoffman's character, frequently calls on great divas of film "Okay, baby, Michelle Pfeiffer going after a Dangerous Mind," for courage. It was supremely fitting that he mentioned Grace Kelly in Rear Window when he has to climb the balcony fire escape. Not only is Rusty, like Lisa, trying to prove herself to her man, Schumacher is drawing a great parallel between the two films, both essays on the idea that the loneliest place is in a crowd. Both films take place in New York apartment complexes where people spy on each other through windows and live in constant dis/connection with their neighbors' lives. Both films examine the most horrible fate - being alone. And though Flawless lacks the tension and artistic beauty of Rear Window, its resolution is even more fulfilling. It may be trite, but it is true - Stick Together.

    Watch this movie for the acting, the incredibly sharp dialog, the longing behind these lonely characters' eyes, and the final triumph of these two unlikely companions.

    Oh yes, and if you are gay (or just happen to have a gay person's wit), get out your pen and paper. Those one-liners are unbelievable....more info

  • EXCELENTE
    el Oscar de Philip Seymour Hoffman no es gratuito, en Flawless podemos disfrutar del gran ensayo general de su personaje en Capote, sin dejar de lado que es una historia muy divertida y humana....more info
  • Like Rear Window, except Grace Kelly is a drag queen!
    The tone of this film is pretty difficult to nail down. Some scenes are played to be genuinely touching, others seem purposefully maudlin, and still others are Jarmusch-like in their comedic detachment from the rest of the movie.

    From scene to scene, you never really know where the movie is trying to lead you from an emotional point of view, but you can usually see where it's going plotwise: DeNiro's character (very) gradually learning to accept Hoffman's, while a sleazy crimeboss tries to recover his money.

    This movie is like two movies in one, and some viewers will like one part of it, and others will prefer the other. The problem is that the intertwining of these two "separate" movies does not necessarily result in a single good movie.

    But maybe Joel Schumacher, the director, was being more subtle than I am giving him credit for: maybe by mixing the two genres of "heart-wrenching melodrama" with "where's the money", he was suggesting a parallel between his plot and his two main characters, one a gun-toting former security guard, the other a drag queen. Again, maybe that's reading too much into it, but it seems possible.

    A lot of people seem not very impressed with DeNiro in this film. His performance is, I guess, an average one, and maybe the fact that you don't really expect "just average" from him is what makes it seem a little worse than it is. He's certainly not difficult to watch, and I'm sure he got the mannerisms of stroke victims just right, but there isn't a lot of range or depth in his performance. (Perhaps that's impossible to avoid? It's hard to say.)

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman, however, is amazing. You can really appreciate his performance in this film if you've seen him in something else: Magnolia, Happiness, or Boogie Nights, for example. He's great in all of those, but his role in this film is in such stark contrast to those other films that you can't help but be amazed by his range. Compare the scenes in which he first takes on the thugs to the one where he discusses a recently-deceased relative. He nails both of them, and keeps his character consistent. You can't ask for more than that.

    Even though the basic plot is outlandish, you can suspend your disbelief through most of it, until the end, when it turns into Rear Window versus a cheap slasher film. You'll see what I mean if you get that far.

    One other performance I thought was excellent that nobody else has mentioned, was that of Daphne Rubin-Vega, a Tony Award-nominated actress who is relatively new to movies. Her role is small, but she owns it. Her shift from disenchantment to enchantment is really a pleasure to watch. You see her whole story in her face before she even says a word.

    Since this is a review of the DVD, I'll just say that the picture quality is more than acceptable, and some of the darker scenes look great. There are virtually no extras (just the trailer, I think).

    So the bottom line: Is the film worth seeing? Sure, especially if you're a PS Hoffman fan. But, be warned, you need to go with the flow when it comes to the emotional tone of the film....more info

  • Flawless
    This is DeNiro at his best. Philip Seymour Hoffman in fact gives a flawless performance in his role as female impersonator/tutor to a stricken DeNiro. The writing is excellent. Lots of humor and action....more info
  • HOFFMAN GOES DRAG QUEEN
    Full of stereotypical characters and a somewhat implausible plot, FLAWLESS nevertheless is an entertaining movie. Philip Seymour Hoffman is hilarious, poignant, over the top, but excellent in his role as Rusty, a cross-dresser who is saving up money for a sex change operation. Robert DeNiro is the ex-cop who suffers a stroke and finds himself taking singing lessons from Rusty as part of his therapy. A big subplot includes stolen money from a major crime boss.
    What makes this movie work for me is the stunning portrayals of both DeNiro and Hoffman. De Niro finds out the hard way that preconceived notions are not always true notions, both in his personal life and in his dealings with Rusty and his/her friends. Director Joel Schumacher shows his eclectisism by taking on this sometimes violent dramedy, and overall I found myself laughing out loud at some of the outrageous antics of Rusty and friends; not because of their sexual preference; no, because they were just fun to watch....more info
  • I love Philip Seymour Hoffman..
    ...it is a toss up between him and William H Macy as to who is the better character actor. I love every movie these guys are in. Philip Seymour Hoffman can play straight, gay, rich or poor and he is so engrossing. I really liked this film - it has a happy ending and it was not what I thought it would be at all. ...more info
  • I Wonder About Reality Here
    I enjoyed watching this movie, in the sense that it moves along, and for Phillip Seymour Hoffman's performance (he was better than I have ever seen him). Then again, he got the good lines, and because De Niro, playing a cop who has had a stroke, can barely speak, he works double time for both of them. Unfortunately, other than that, and the gracious way Robert De Niro lets himself be upstaged consistently by Hoffman, there is little here of interest and not much reality. Were they going for "La Cage aux Folles"? See that instead--the origional.

    Seeing two people work out their oppositional attitudes is always interesting, but this movie is top heavy and out of balance-- and the deck is stacked against De Niro. His performances should always be perfect--isn't that what we expect? He doesn't seem to be "into" this as an actor. It's puzzling. Perhaps he was trying something "new" again. What the heck is going on with him?

    It's sort of cute, in parts, but not terribly real, I am afraid. Fun if you want to see a lot of drag queens yelling at gay republicans... that was my favorite scene. Dressed outrageously in full drag, the "ladies" really gave it to these poor suited up guys who are half out, half in the closet, concerning the annual Gay Pride Parade in New York City. Is this something that really happened? I have no clue. Amusing to watch however. Very huffy. Sorry if this sounds politcally incorrect. It may well be, but it's the movie's problem, not mine.

    The subplot, concerning hidden drug money, is sloppily handled. The ending is entertaining, however, and of course, love and acceptance of other people's differences conquers all....more info

  • Based on change, not death.
    I can understand why most people hated this movie: because it had the usual stereostypes. But what they are not seeing the realtionship that came about. It is a story that shows the world that people can change, even under the most odd of situations (here, it is a homophobe and a gay drag queen). It is actually somewhat inspiring to see this kind of relationship ensue and it is enjoyable. It nice to see a movie that focuses more on the happiness than the hatred....more info
  • Oh. My. God. Over the top terrific.
    How on earth did this movie get made? It's so offbeat, such improbable fodder for the movie mill of Hollywood, so, so, so.... So over the top in every way. Two very special and talented actors hold down the story. DeNiro plays a homophobic cop who is trying to recover from a debilitating stroke; he starts by taking singing lessons from his neighbor, played by the incomparable Philip Seymour Hoffman, a pathetic drag queen who is trying to save up enough money for a sex change operation.
    Well. You can imagine the looks DeNiro gives him, the comments, the eye-rolls, as Hoffman vamps or slumps around in a kimono or wig or feathered scarf. Really, really good stuff. You suspect DeNiro will emerge from this encounter as a more tolerant man, and you would be correct - but that's not the end of the tale.
    There's another whole plot line about drug deals and stolen money that comes up against the gay community and the drag queens, prostitutes of all three sexes, the cops (both honest and dis) - and when the goons come to call, you fear that these people you've come to care about will come to a sad fate.
    I won't say more. Just don't miss it....more info
  • Loved it!!
    This movie showed me that within a blink of an eye, our lives can change and the people we least expect, can turn out to be the kindest and most loyal. ...more info
  • Hoffman at his best
    The scene with thte drag queens and the log cabin republicans is worth the price of the DVD. Hoffman is wonderful...more info
  • Silly, Campy, and Bad BAD BAD
    One thing is for certain...one day in the distant future, whenthis film is revived in some obscure gay theater, Robert DeNiro WILLroll over in his grave. This film may possibly qualify as one of the pantheon of "so bad it's actually funny" movies, but I'm not entirely certain about that. Give it another five years on video to really let the bad performances, bad writing, bad direction, and bad concepts start to ferment. This film was clearly written by a Screaming (untalented) queen, if not directed by one. How DeNiro got roped into this is a mystery only some Far Eastern Oracle could ever hope to answer. I think he did it because he lost a poker bet with somebody. As it is, he should be hung with a feather boa for this celluloid transgression. I dare not guess at Phillip Seymour-T's reason. This was not drama, because it was too improbable and campy. This was not satire, because how do you satirize drag queens? They are already larger than life. This was definitely comedy, at the very end. But I don't think the film started out that way, and that's a very scary thought, indeed. Rent or buy this only if you, yourself, are a drag queen(in which case you'll love it) or if you hate Robert DeNiro and really wish to see him in the throes of a totally embarrassing career move (in which case you'll REALLY love it)....more info
  • Loved it
    I loved this movie from the first time I saw it. It is typical Robert DeNiro but in this movie he is a bit more vulnerable than usual. Phillip Seymour Hoffman stole this movie, however. I loved him. He is so wide ranged, and this movie was still early in his stardom. I disagree with many of the reviewers. Maybe it made them uncomfortable. I think this is a poignant, sad,funny, talented movie with a bit of action thrown in for all the cop movie lovers....more info
  • acting was good
    Well by no means was this a great movie. The worst thing about it was trying to understand the two main characters. I understand about the Robert DeNiro character with his speech problem. I sure would not have picked this drag queen to give me speech lessons. Don't get me wrong, the acting by Philip Seymour Hoffman is what carried this movie. I can see why they chose Hoffman to play "Capote". He can play any role. It was a little disjointed but I enjoyed it for the acting alone. ...more info
  • A "feel-good" film? It pissed me off.
    What do you get when you cross a stroke-ridden security guard with a flamboyant drag queen? The punchline is Flawless, one of the low points of the holiday movie season so far. Appropriately for a Thanksgiving release, writer-director Joel Schumacher has served up a big, steamy Butterball with all the trimmings. He should have called this one Shameless.
    After spending most of the decade alternating between bloated Batman sequels and pallid John Grisham adaptations, Schumacher has wisely decided to retrench with a smaller scale, character-driven drama. The problem is, he's neglected to supply the characters. Robert De Niro stars as security guard Walter Koontz, a neighborhood hero who suffers a stroke while trying to intervene in a drug deal gone awry. As part of his recovery, Walt's physical therapist suggests he take singing lessons. Reluctantly, the homophobic Walt approaches his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a drag performer who keeps a piano in his apartment. Needing money for his eventual sexual reassignment surgery, Rusty agrees to take on Walt as a client.
    No doubt De Niro and Hoffman were both attracted to roles that, on the surface, cry out for major award nominations. But neither of these talented actors is given much to work with beyond superficial showiness. As he did in Awakenings, De Niro nails the technical specifics of his impairment, right down to the muffled, sidelong manner of speech generally associated with stroke victims. But Walt is so ill-defined before he is stricken, pretty much all we know about him is that he's gruff. Hoffman's performance dances around the edges of caricature - hands flitting about, voice dripping with honeyed sarcasm - but his raw emotionalism lends Rusty a depth not provided by the screenplay.
    If Schumacher has ever conjured an authentic moment on screen, I've missed it. Even his best work is convincing only as movie-land fantasy, and Flawless is no exception. Everything that happens is dramatically rigged, worst of all the ongoing drug money subplot, which is about as gritty and believable as an old episode of Police Woman. It's a sure sign that Schumacher didn't trust his central story to hold an audience's interest.
    In addition to Walt's singing lessons, there are life lessons to be learned, of course - be yourself, let your freak flag fly, and you'll find the people who accept you for what you are. It doesn't hurt that in Walt's case those people happen to include a cute young tango dancer who inexplicably has the hots for a middle-aged, semi-paralyzed ex-security guard. Eventually even Walt's crusty poker buddies bond with his new drag queen pals, although we aren't shown how or why. It's all meant to be very feel-good and life affirming, but the net effect of all these bogus epiphanies is not unlike that of traditional Thanksgiving overindulgence. Just don't forget the Pepto-Bismol.
    ...more info