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|Index||74 reviews in total|
Never before have I seen such everyday people brought to the screen in such
a believable and moving way. Wang has translated Auster's story brilliantly,
playing the silent observer among some great scenes where Kietel, Hurt and
Perrineau shine with the dialog they are given.
This movie is slow, but it is an excellent account of how people relate to each other and behave under strained times. Hurt's character is beautifully constructed, surrounded by others who each have their own interesting story.
Its companion piece, 'Blue in the Face' is funny, but strays in a different direction. I would like to see more of these types of movies made; they explore so much, so expertly, with so little.
I'm a guy whose favourite films are 'Star Wars', 'Superman' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. But this film is such a surprise and a stand out in today's mundane slew of films that for me, I couldn't ignore it. I can't recommend this film more strongly.
Smoke is a good example of what independent film should be. A simple story told with simple direction with an outstanding story. As much as the story is interesting, the cast is just as good. William Hurt and Harvey Keitel are excellent. Forrest Whitaker also gives a surprising role with a surprise ending that you will not see coming. Although this movie stars Keitel and Hurt, this is Harold Perrineau Jr's movie. In his mid 20's, Perrineua co-stars with a league of talented and well established actors. Since then, Perrineua has gone on to stars in a series of movies and television series including OZ. A wonderful movie with great conversation, all independent films should have a little bit of "Smoke" in them.
If you were ever to imagine Harvey Keitel if he'd never acted, this is what he would be doing. The quintessential "cool", Harvey is at his most human in this role as a cigar shop owner in Brooklyn. Showing his tender side, he has hired a 'slow, mentally impaired' local from the neighborhood to sweep the pavement. His shop is a place where people with a revolving interest of Cigars, go to hang out and talk about life, love, and bullshit. It is the epicentral natural dialogue through which each character speaks that makes this movie so warm, humorous, and incredible. A great movie, 5 stars all around. -Al
This movie by top notch actors is one of the best movies written on the human experience. I can understand why these actors must have fell in love with the script. It is simple, for the most part easy to follow and the acting is tremendous. I would recommend this movie to people of all ages, I must warn you it may affect you more than any other movie ever.
"you'll never get it if you don't slow down my friend"
"you're going too fast"
"you're hardly looking at the pictures"
"Slow down, huh?"
Chill. Forget special effects. Story. Basic. Classic.
Though the writing is very "stagey", the acting is fantastic all around.
The more you allow yourself to get into this movie, the more you will
it. The soundtrack insidiously lulls the viewer into a state where the
everyday is made beautiful.
This movie is full of overlooked performances by some of today's best actors, including Forest Whitaker, Harold Perrineau Jr, (who most people know from the OZ HBO series), and Ashley Judd, whose takes one of the smallest roles in the movie but develops an extraordinary character.
Harvey Keitel and William Hurt have a dynamic in each scene that shows the true brilliance of each actor. Stockard Channing plays a character that could easily have been overacted with a style and realism that engage the viewer.
Certainly a movie you have to put yourself into, but you won't be disappointed if you do.
Based on the Christmas Story that writer Paul Auster published on the New
York Times on 25th December 1990 "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story".
Director Wayne Wang incorporates into the film 6 stories, from 6 people who have separate lives, but meeting in one place Auggie's Cigar Shop (played by Keitel).
The story of a somewhat frustated writer Paul Benjamin(Hurt), and his meeting with a young thug, and his father whom he never met (Whitaker).
With a beautiful photography of New York seen from each characters perspective, Auster makes a superb script and beautifully directed by Wang.
The film is a nice view of Brooklyn where all things meet.
This is a movie about storytelling. Stories that go up in smoke, but not to say weightless. Re the story of sir Walter Raleigh to queen Bess about the weighing of smoke. Everyone tells a story in this film; some true, some false, but always leading towards a direction in life, some good some bad. Joan Didion once wrote:"We tell ourselves stories in order to stay alive". And that is just what happens to everybody in the film. Life is meaningless until we give it meaning by telling stories. Rashid tells a false one, one with a twist. Auggie tells one with his photographs. Paul put his in a novel and makes one up from a story from Auggie. In the end we see that it is a true story. see the movie with care and attention and you will be enchanted.
This is a story of the crossing of the paths of a diverse group of characters with ostensibly nothing in common but who, for a variety of reasons become important in each others' lives. The strength of the movie lies in the relationship between two characters: the novelist, Paul Benjamin, and the owner of the smoke shop, Auggie Wren. While it appears that they have had a superficial relationship for some time, the relationship deepens when Auggie shows Paul his photograph collection. The culmination is the conversation they have over lunch when Auggie tells Paul his Christmas story. This is a movie with interesting subplots as well and superb acting. I particularly like the song which plays at the end - it's a moving tune which perfectly fits the mood of the story.
This is one of the best films I have ever seen, a gentle story describing
the various lives of a group of people linked around a cigar store in New
The usual Hollywood formula for thrills and spills is replaced with beautifully crafted characters and intelligent dialogue, peaking with the wonderful christmas story as told at the end of the film.
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