The plot of this movie, like smoke itself, drifts and swirls ethereally. Characters and subplots are deftly woven into a tapestry of stories and pictures which only slowly emerges to our view. This film tries to convince us that reality doesn't matter so much as aesthetic satisfaction. In Auggie's New York smoke shop, day by day passes, seemingly unchanging until he teaches us to notice the little details of life. Paul Benjamin, a disheartened and broken writer, has a brush with death that is pivotal and sets up an unlikely series of events that afford him a novel glimpse into the life on the street which he saw, but did not truly perceive, every day. Finally, it's Auggie's turn to spin a tale.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
When Ruby (Stockard Channing) and Augie (Harvey Keitel) meet in the tobacco shop for the first time, Ruby's left eye can occasionally be seen underneath the black eye patch. The character is said to have lost her glass eye. See more »
I cannot begin to convey the intellectual and spiritual riches of this exquisite, almost transcendental film. I have rarely seen a motion picture with better acting or a more literate, insightful script.Harvey Keitel, John Hurt, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd, Forrest Whittaker, and all the other players contribute some of their finest performances.The film itself ends with a "Christmas story' which conveys more of the religious-and humanist-meaning of that holiday than a thousand scmaltzy TV specials.Watch this movie, watch it carefully. Rarely has the beauty and sublimity concealed behind the facade of quotidian existence been better conveyed in a film.
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