A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the meager existence he scrapes out from very odd jobs, such as thesping in an arty ... See full summary »
While working on a documentary on his old neighborhood, a young film school graduate shifts the focus of his production onto the disappearance of a local resident and the strange characters... See full summary »
Sam Henry Kass
Things aren't going so well for Tommy Basilio. He lost his job because he "borrowed" money from the register, his girlfriend left him for his boss and is now pregnant, and he can't find work because of the incident. His life revolves around the Trees Lounge, a neighborhood bar over which he lives, full of the colorful eccentrics one finds in such places, like the estranged husband, or the old boozer drinking himself to death. He drunkenly wanders through his life, still in love with his ex, desperate for some sort of meaning beyond the bar, some sort of meaning to his life. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Watched this with some trepidation, having seen the absolutely excellent trailer. So few movies live up to their trailers, especially indies. Anxiety increased by having read Buscemi's fairly harrowing account of making the film in one of those 'The Directors' books.
Shouldn't have worried. Great flick. Totally engrossing, especially to a *cough* former *cough* barfly like myself. Beautifully understated, funny, very sad, nicely paced and Buscemi very wisely NOT trying to dominate every scene, although he certainly dominates the movie.
Movie appears on first sight plot less but actually it isn't at all: Buscemi's search for a second chance to escape from the morass of his own making is riveting. Everyone involved seems to have had a good time and the beautifully relaxed performances are the reward. Only the two knucklehead goombahs fall below the otherwise uniformly excellent level.
A real treat, and thoroughly watchable-again able. My DVD was in TV format, which sucked, but otherwise the low budget doesn't really intrude.
Nearest movie to it I can think of offhand is KILLING OF A Chinese BOOKIE. Radically different subject matter but similar bittersweet texture.
A slightly, but only slightly, generous 9/10 from me.
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