After years of looking after the great and the good, press agent Eli Wurman (Pacino) finds it increasingly difficult to take care of himself, much to the chagrin of his sometime girlfriend (Basinger).
Completed ten days before the events of September 11, 2001, People I Know was quickly re-shot and all but shelved because of scenes featuring the World Trade Center.
It premiered in Italy in October 2002, flopped on limited release in the US six months later (struggling to make just over $120,000), and struggled to gets its day in court in the UK.
Considering the ignominy of its path to British cinemas, it's hard not to approach the film with caution, but after a few minutes in the company of an unusually low-key but typically world-weary Al Pacino, it begins to win you over, dragging you deeper into the sleazy political underworld it describes.
The story drifts between gripping and intriguing, but Ryan O'Neal is brilliantly effective as the scandal-hit politico caught up in a rape and murder which his long-term agent, Eli Wurman (Pacino), may have witnessed himself. One cannot help but feel for Eli as his career, relationships and political life, already hanging by a thread, start to unravel before his heavy-lidded, drug-addled eyes.
<b>People I Know</b> may be a slow-burn, but despite its lack of success elsewhere, its still more than worthy of its long-delayed cinema release. Discerning audiences willing to invest in the characters will soon warm to the downbeat story and Al Pacino