Virgil Bliss is a man obsessed with living a normal life, finding a good job, marrying a decent woman, and building a family of his own. But as a recently paroled career thief with a ...
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THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY chronicles the last days in the life of Joe May, an aging, short money hustler who always believed that a glorious destiny awaited him around every corner. Now in ... See full summary »
Virgil Bliss is a man obsessed with living a normal life, finding a good job, marrying a decent woman, and building a family of his own. But as a recently paroled career thief with a hair-trigger temper and the social skills of a child, he faces distinct challenges. At the halfway house where he gets his first taste of freedom in over a decade, Virgil meets Manny Alvarez, a fiery miscreant who takes the emotionally naive Virgil under his wing and initiates him in the ways of the world. It's Manny who introduces Virgil to Ruby, an opportunistic junkie with whom Virgil falls instantly in love. As Virgil and Ruby learn to trust each other, they share their concerns: Ruby plans to win back custody of her four-year-old son and Virgil confesses the horrible and senseless crime that landed him in prison. After his release from the halfway house, Virgil finds work as a janitor and moves in with Ruby. But their attempts to adjust as a family come undone with the arrival of the psychotic Manny. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
As a fan of gritty, street-life character studies I looked forward to watching this film for quite a while before it hit the Sundance Channel. As I watched the story unfold it became harder and harder to distinguish between the actors and the roles they were portraying. It's obvious that bad things are going to happen but nothing prepared me for what eventually happened in the end. I was left wondering for days afterwards what happened to these people after the cameras stopped rolling. That doesn't happen often in films for me these days.
While it's sad to say that some people can never change it's also obvious after watching Virgil try to change his life for the better that some people have just not got a chance in this world. Sometimes wanting to be good is not always enough.
Throw in an alcoholic, dimebag hooker as a love interest along with other destitute sociopaths such as pimps, goombahs, ex-cons and the like and it's just sometimes too much to bear. Watching Virgil try to heal Ruby's addictive personality with his unconditional love and affection is just downright painful stuff. The only time he can break down her defenses is when she's so wasted that she's an imminent threat to Virgil's new-gained freedom and sobriety. It explained a lot for me why people in bad situations make things worse with drug and alcohol abuse. Sometimes it's the only way to feel human again.
Anyway, there's a lot going on in this film besides Virgil's love interests. A lot of forces are gnawing at him every day, coaxing him to fail. it's really impossible to guess what which one will do him in. Everyone in this film deserves fame and respect for their treatment of their character roles. Great stuff, just make sure you're not feeling lonely before you watch this movies as it's probably going to make you feel a lot worse.
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