Watch 2 Days in the Valley
- 1 hr 44 min
2 Days in the Valley is a gripping noir film from 1996 that follows the intersecting lives of ten disparate characters in the San Fernando Valley over a two-day period. Directed by John Herzfeld and starring Teri Hatcher, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, and Charlize Theron in her breakout role, the film blends elements of comedy, drama, and suspense to create a stylish and memorable portrait of life in Los Angeles. At the heart of the story are two hitmen, Dosmo Pizzo (Aiello) and Lee Woods (James Spader), who are hired to kill a wealthy art dealer named Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell) by his ex-wife, Susan Parish (Hatcher). When the hit goes wrong, the two assassins go on the run and find themselves entangled with a host of other characters, including a down-on-his-luck detective named Wes Taylor (Daniels), a nurse with a gambling addiction named Helga Svelgen (Marlene Bakker), and a young Olympic athlete named Becky Foxx (Theron) who is looking for a way out of her abusive relationship with her coach. As the various characters navigate their way through the seedy underbelly of LA, they cross paths and form unexpected connections that lead them down a road of danger, betrayal, and redemption. Along the way, they confront their own demons and find themselves questioning their own motivations as they struggle to survive in a world that is as unforgiving as it is unpredictable. The performances in 2 Days in the Valley are uniformly excellent, with Aiello and Spader delivering standout turns as the odd couple hitmen who bicker and banter their way through a series of tense and violent encounters. Hatcher, known primarily for her role on the TV show Lois & Clark, gives a surprisingly nuanced and layered performance as the femme fatale at the center of the story, while Daniels brings his trademark understated intensity to the role of the world-weary detective. The writing and direction of the film are equally impressive, with Herzfeld displaying a keen eye for imagery and a deft touch with tone and pacing. The film is filled with memorable set pieces and clever visual touches, such as the recurring use of a painting that serves as both a symbol of wealth and corruption and a metaphor for the interconnectedness of the characters. The film's themes are universal and timeless, exploring the dark side of human nature and the difficult choices that people make in order to survive in a world that is often cruel and unjust. Whether it's Becky's struggle to break free from her abusive boyfriend or Dosmo's realization that he may have finally met his match in the form of Lee, the characters in 2 Days in the Valley are all grappling with issues of identity, power, and morality. All in all, 2 Days in the Valley is a thrilling and thought-provoking film that deserves to be ranked among the best neo-noir films of the 1990s. With its strong performances, stylish direction, and provocative themes, it is a must-see for fans of the genre and anyone interested in exploring the darker side of human nature.