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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Audra Glyn Smith
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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
"Virgil Bliss" was a film I've been meaning to see for some time now. It was a pick at the IFP Market a few years back that I attended with my own script but never got to see. Finally I did on IFC around 1:00 in the morning. What really stood out for me in this film is what stood out in another film by Joe Maggio, "Milk and Honey". The performances. Clint Jordan plays the troubled man-child just released from Rikers. In the beginning I thought it was a strange pairing of this "southern boy" in a NYC maximum security prison but after the rules were established of who this person was I found myself a part of his experience. His experience is a inevitable journey through the hard, cold reality of an ex-con set free to live in the dead end world of starting back at square one. The object of his innocent desire is Ruby, a ten dollar a blow job prostitute played amazingly by Kirsten Russel. The prostitute role in film is a dime a dozen but to see it played believably is rare. She's troubled and she is trouble. Virgil has no chance after he's released. All the elements of the outside world drag him back into the belly of the beast. We know he is doomed and yet we watch anyway because maybe just maybe this good intentioned career criminal might escape the life he has been apart of for so long.
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