Changing Lanes

Road rage in extremis transmutes into a 21st century morality tale in Changing Lanes, Roger Michell's insightful and intelligent exploration of American contemporary mores. Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson star as the dystopian foes, battling it out to the brink of destruction in a contest of wills and o­ne-upmanship.The two are opposite in social status. Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) is a successful hotshot lawyer headed for corporate Nirvana, while Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson) is a recuperating alcoholic struggling with a low-level income and a custody dispute. Not likely to cross each otherís paths, they collide in a traffic accident o­n New York's FDR Drive. Gipson wants to do the right thing, insurance-wise, while Banek just want to make his court date, offering Gipson a blank check to cover his car's damages. Gipson falters, Banek flees the scene (leaving his important file behind), and the feud begins… As o­ne bad turn tweaks another and class differences are exposed, both men suffer equally the most woeful day in either of their lives. Co-screenwriters Chap Taylor and Michael Tolkin have fashioned a morally complex look into civility and conscience in modern day society, and with a clever script and superlative cast (Sydney Pollack, Toni Collette, William Hurt) they've succeeded in pushing all the right audience buttons.

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