His genius takes a fascinating shape, even if it's applied to a second-hand mystery that's unworthy of him.
As for Norton as Lionel, it was always going to be difficult for his emotional life to reach full flower on screen, despite the vulnerability that draws good people like Minna and Laura to his side.
Pope has done consistently superb work for director Mike Leigh, but his digital camera flattens the images and makes every scene overly bright, like looking at a bank of TV sets at a department store.
'Motherless Brooklyn' Is A Noir Miss
October 31, PM ET.
As an actor, Norton makes a five-course meal out of Lionel's affliction — which, frankly, resembles Dustin Hoffman's autist in Rain Man too closely — but all his considerable passion and wit cannot blanket the film in the character's voice like it does in the novel.
Description: Like many detective stories of its kind, Motherless Brooklyn starts with a small crime that metastasizes into a much larger, more insidious civic cancer.