The Grifters is first and foremost the novel by Jim Thompson. It's also a film directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Van, Mary Reilly, Dangerous Liaisons) starring Angelica Huston, John Cusack and Annette Benning. At first, it's a clever story about the lives of two con-artists, or grifters, Roy (Cusack), and his mother (Huston).But it ends up being more about their confusted and uncomfortable relationship. The book (like most Thompson) is a Roman-Noir, and the film retains its qualities very well. It's also quite educational as far as the way of the grift is concerned. And Thompson's bad guys are always so compelling: You don't know whether to feel pissed off at Roy or sorry for him. Either way, it is easy for any child of a dysfunctional family to relate to Roy's fucked up relationship with his mother. A good film and a great book.