The first thing we learned at last night's Cinema Society screening of Killing Them Softly is that the film has absolutely nothing to do with Roberta Flack. Rather, its title is more literal: it refers to a little speech given by Brad Pitt, who plays a hit man in the film, about his preferred method of actually killing people. (He likes to do it from far away.) The movie features an awful lot of killing, in fact, most of it not so soft, done variously by and to a cast including James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, and Scoot McNairy.
Writer and director Andrew Dominik took a rather beneficent approach to helming the film—at least to hear him tell it. "You know, they say that being a director is the last truly despotic position left—but you've only got a certain amount of control," he averred. "The proper way to do the job is to help everybody. The crew's not really there to help you, and the cast are not really there to help you. You're really there to help them. And support should flow from the top down, not from the bottom up."
Much of the cast was present, however, to support Dominik and the film—including Pitt, McNairy, Gandolfini, Liotta, and others. They were joined by an audience so impressive in turnout that two different theaters were pressed into use to house them all: Catherine Keener, Patrick Wilson, Harvey Weinstein, Patrick Stewart, Kanye West, Amy Adams, Marion Cotillard, Rose Byrne, Dylan McDermott, Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Josh Lucas, Ethan and Joel Coen, David O. Russell, and Aaron and Sam Taylor Johnson were among the eager attendees.
There was little doubt, though, as to what—or, more accurately, who—had drawn them all there. Shortly after Pitt walked by, we caught model Anja Rubik, and asked her about her first exposure to the man of the hour. "It was Legends of the Fall," she remembered immediately. "I loved that movie, I think it was amazing. I think it was the best movie—he looks incredibly sexy there. I think it was even forbidden for me; I was really, really young!"
While she chatted, we couldn't help but notice the tattoo on Rubik's forearm—a charming line drawing of a rodent. "I used to have a pet rat, Phoebe; it was like six years ago," Rubik explained. "She died, and I was somewhere else at the time, and the tattoo kind of makes me remember about the priorities in life. I drew it."
When we repaired to No. 8 later that evening for DeLéon cocktails and snacks, we, too, got to thinking about priorities. For one night, anyway, this party topped our—and, it seemed, half of Hollywood's—list. -Alexandria Symonds