Yes, this is Gary Oldman week for me and retro cinema, but you won't see me complaining. Usually, the chameleon Oldman morphs and slides onto the screen for one of his many diverse supporting roles. Most recently, he's taken on heroes like Sirius Black and Lt. James Gordon, but he's got a past that includes the little person Rolfe, the creepy Mason Verger, Pontius Pilate, Zorg, a Russian hijacker, and as I shared earlier this week, Ludwig van Beethoven. 1993's Romeo is Bleeding, however, marks one of the few times like Immortal Beloved where we can see him shine in the lead.
Oldman plays Jack Grimaldi, a cop who has been lured by the dark side in a noir '90s landscape. (Think Twin Peaks' timeless quality and haunting music, but set within a violent urban environment.) To supplement his low-pay job as a sergeant, Grimaldi is working for the mob -- directing them to the locations of different witnesses under protection. For his efforts, he gets thousands of dollars, which he hides in the back of his yard. But this is only the tip of Jack's moral failings. While he has a wife named Natalie (Annabella Sciorra) at home, he's also acting out fantasies with his grating girlfriend, Sheri (Juliette Lewis).