|Teen Movie Critic - II is a Dream Machine Site|
The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
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Nick (John Cusack) is overburdened and under extreme mental pressure mainly because his job as an air-traffic controller is distinctly high-pressure and totally stressful. Recently, matters have become even more complicated with the addition of Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton), the new guy in town who is an excellent air traffic controller. (Translation: Nick feels his job is being threatened and resents Russell.) Perhaps that's why he doesn't hesitate to sleep with Russell's wife, Mary (Angelina Jolie) - even though Nick is also married.
Needless to say, Nick quickly begins to fall apart. By the time his wife Connie (Cate Blanchett) finds out that he cheated on her and consequently leaves him, he is already unable to concentrate on his work. (His boss and coworkers politely suggest he "take a little vacation".) This movie might just as easily have been titled "Portrait of a Nervous Breakdown".
Pushing Tin isn't a side-splitter, but there is a fair amount of comedy. The end was a bit dopey (not to mention unrealistic) but otherwise the film was well- plotted. I think it's also worth noting that this is the first movie where I actually liked Billy Bob Thornton - as opposed to his Armageddon and A Simple Plan roles. Blanchett doesn't have as strong a role here as she did in Elizabeth, but it certainly shows her ability to do different kinds of movies.