Cruising

Cruising ★★★★½

Friedkin's bi awakening, leather-clad giallo is exactly as wonderful as it sounds on paper. Though some of the performances here are a little rough around the edges, Pacino is as excellent as ever. He threads a fine line between tense withdrawal and furtive excitement and does so marvelously. Supporting players are a bit more hit or miss and some of the ADR is jarringly atrocious. Narratively, however, the film works beautifully. The 'undercover cop gets lost in the role' narrative maps neatly onto the bi awakening plot. And Friedkin is smart to keep the revelations simmering at a low boil, rather than a percussive bang at the finale. I'm not surprised reception was mixed to poor upon release, but for its anxious, grimy frames and for Pacino's slow-simmering performance, I love it.

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