I'm not very familiar with the story of John Dillinger, but from what I've heard and also saw it is pretty true to what really happened right down to his death. I also liked how the idea of a criminal was romanticized in the early 30's. People treated Dillinger like he was a celebrity. They wanted to know how long it took him to rob a bank and how he did it. He was America's early bad boy and the one women wanted to be with.
Now for the cast. Christian Bale did not impress me one bit. I don't think I've seen him in anything where he has actually turned himself into someone else. Now, many may think he did in The Dark Knight, but no one could hold a candle to Heath Ledger. I just don't think he has been give that role where he can actually transform himself.
Marion Cotillard was amazing. It was nice to see a women in the early 30's stand up for her beliefs. She wanted to be with Dillinger and she would do anything to protect him.
And now for Johnny. He was good, but he is not the Depp everyone may expect. He is not playing a character, he is playing a person. Most actors want to stay true to the person's life and don't want to change it when doing a biopic. Depp is known for doing many biopics such as Ed Wood, George Jung in Blow and J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, which I believe are some of Depp's best. In a recent article in the July issue of Vanity Fair Depp talked about how he searched for an audio recording of Dillinger voice, but had no luck. He ended up finding a recording of Dillinger's dad. He stated:
" There were some recordings which sounded exactly like my relatives. I mean, his pop sounded like my grandfather, almost exactly. So I just made the decision to sound not aggressively southern but to adopt a bit of a drawl."
Depp does not go into a film without doing his homework first. He visited all of the major landmarks where Dillinger used to be in the 30's. He also fired guns on a regular basics. When he plays the life of a person he wants to resemble them as best as possible. He stated:
"There's a certain responsibility playing a guy, even Dillinger. You want to do him right, ya know. You don't want to let him down. He may be watching. So I don't want to water down the integrity of the person I'm playing. I want to find its essence."
Even though the work is not Depp's best for me, you have to respect the hell out of him for what he does for each movie he stars in. He does not just walk onto a film set and take orders from the director. He takes creative control for all of his work and that is why he will be this generation's Hollywood Icon.
To read the complete article check out Vanity Fair.