Filmic Frenzy: "The Informers

By Tatiana Craine

This spring, yet another of Bret Easton Ellis’ books comes to life on the big screen with beautiful, plastic actors and actresses managing their fair share drama. Ellis’ “The Informers” follows the entangled social lives of people in 1980s Los Angeles during a time of wanton excess and lack of inhibitions. Controversy and hype has surrounded “The Informers” for quite some time. The film was Brad Renfro’s last completed movie before a heroin overdose at the age of 25 in 2008. Additionally, Ellis has publicly been less than pleased with the direction that the film has taken. In his collection of short stories called “The Informers,” the characters were similar to those in “Less than Zero” and “American Psycho”-a little sarcastic and ironic. Taking his satire further, Ellis threw a vampire into the mix of young and shameless socialites. After extensive cuts from director Gregor Jordan, the film lacks the supernatural flair of Ellis’ book. However, Jordan defends the cuts (that reduce the vampire into merely a blood-lustful character) and believes it improves the film adaptation.

Despite the speculation and drama behind the scenes, “The Informers” looks like a time portal straight into the 1980s-spandex, big hair and all. The trailer reveals a decadent and debauched world. A character’s confession at the beginning of the trailer discloses, “If I told you I grew up in LA, I’d be lying. Here, no one ever grows up.” That’s all the set up this film needs.

“The Informers” boasts an all-star cast including Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Kim Bassinger, and Billy Bob Thornton. Also starring are Jon Foster, Lou Pucci, Amber Heard, and Brad Renfro. The casting seems to be like that of every Ellis film adaptation, filled with stunning and distinctive actors. Foster appears onscreen reminiscent of a young Christian Bale, circa “American Psycho,” with slicked hair and a smoldering, haughty (and hollow) glare.

“The Informers” is a film that could either excel as an indie 80s time capsule or be a tremendous failure. Whatever the critical reception may be, the film begs to be watched (even though the film takes itself a little too seriously to beg). Fashion mavens and 80s pop music fanatics will salivate over the modern hipster-esque styles and the instantly recognizable soundtrack. Refro’s last performance has also been highly anticipated in the film industry. Regardless of the buildup and the fuss over the “The Informers,” it looks like a film that will accomplish for audiences exactly what its characters are all about: escapism.

Opens April 24!