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I just joined imdb because I couldn't sit by and let someone denigrating
this great film be the initial thing people see in its
Mac is a film with shortcomings like any other but it does not deserve to be so summarily dismissed as that doogie fella does.
The 'story' behind the film is that it's based in part on Turturro's father, so that some scenes are accused of being 'overacted' isn't really all that surprising.
I won't give away the story at all, I'll leave it to you fine people to watch because this is one of those movies that damn well should be seen. I happened upon it by accident and felt very fortuitous for having nothing to do that evening.
I was immediately drawn into this well shot and acted out film. With the exception of the the surreal opening part everything is immensely believable and I felt very connected to the characters. I felt better for having watched it and that certainly isn't something you get with most things flushed down the Hollywood toilet for our consumption.
Enjoyed this entire film, having grown up in Queens, N.Y.it brought back great memories of how hard it was for the Italian people to work at their skills as builders. John Turturro, and Nicholas Turturro gave excellent performances and Ellen Barkin had a small supporting role as a writer who charmed the Italian young men. This was a down to earth picture of Italian people and their family life to struggle in the building industry in Queens, N.Y. This is definitely a film classic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
john turturro plays his dad. hes really really into construction, carpentry, building houses. he quits the job for his jerk off boss and he and his brothers start their own business. then he starts pushing his brothers around kind of like his old boss did. this movie is cool the way it shows these things. it also shows a big part of the mans life it sort of feels like a trip or something 'i can remember way back before they were married, and when they met' when i see him and his wife together in their later years. theres a couple things i dont get in the movie like whats ellen barkin, what happens to her, what happens to his mom who is always screaming off-camera, did his wife really sell the houses? some people say this is all about some message about how the main guy is perfect, but i aint convinced. the last shot has him dragging his kid around by the hand like he were a doll. he is so obsesssed he drives his brothers nuts and they quit working for him. the character has got spirit and hes got problems. its a very interesting picture of the main character.
I think there's a tendency for actors who decide to direct their own movies to leave absolutely everything up to their colleagues, the actors, including driving the story. I couldn't tell if this film was scripted or improvised, but there's an awful lot of long, no-dialogue shots of faces and activity that don't advance the plot, what there is of it. A surprising amount of what dialogue there is, is in untranslated Italian-which didn't bother me, except for the fact that-again-it didn't advance the story much. After about half an hour of establishing 4 or 5 characters without much action or tension, I still couldn't tell where the film was going. It seems to be about holding one's work to high standards, but then what? No dramatic tension, no imbalance to resolve, no conflicts to keep track of. Two stars for good acting and competent staging; two stars for lousy script, absent directing, and nonexistent editing. I can't be accused of spoiling anything if I merely point out that this film left me plenty of time between dialogue and story elements to ask myself about the plot, the story, the acting, the characters...it didn't draw me in at all.
Boy, this is bad. It's as if Turturro, playing method as Barton Fink, had rapped out his own screenplay about "the common man" and somehow saw it get before the cameras. The opening few minutes are fine, but then goes downhill and doesn't recover. There's a vaguely sickening feel that Turturro feels this is some sort of Important Statement, as if he believed the fictional studio's hype and cast himself as an auteur, ready to deliver that Barton Fink feeling. An overlong, self-important mess.
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