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Trees Lounge (1996)

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Tommy is an unemployed mechanic who spends most of his time in a bar (Trees Lounge) in a small blue collar town. He seems to always be thinking, "If only X then I could stop drinking".



4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bronson Dudley ...
Rob (as Anthony Lapaglia)
Steven Randazzo ...
Rockets Redglare ...
Richard Boes ...


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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story about one man's search... for who knows what


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for plentiful strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bizim kafe  »


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,830, 13 October 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Costelloe was originally cast as Matthew. See more »


During the opening credits, an old man at the bar orders a large glass of liquor, filled with ice. In the next shot, there's no ice in the glass. However, this is a deliberate technique by the director to indicate the passing of time at Trees Lounge. See more »


Tommy: He saved my life once.
Debbie: What, he was gonna kill you but he changed his mind?
See more »


References Mister Magoo (1960) See more »


Written by Mabel Wayne & Kim Gannon
Performed by The Ink Spots
Published by EMI Waterford Music, Inc., EMI U Catalog Inc. and EMI Feist Catalog Inc.
Courtesy of The Everest Record Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Hats off to Buscemi
28 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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