A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him.
Willie T. Stokes is a convicted con man who's led a miserable life. He drinks heavily and constantly embarrasses himself publicly. He only works once a year dressed as Santa. But then come Christmas Eve, he and his pint-sized helper dwarf Marcus stage elaborate robberies and take their department stores for everything they got. This year, they hit a mall in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. This time around, Willie gets distracted by having sex with large women, a bartender who is attracted to Santas, and a kid who's convinced he's the real deal. However, this time around Marcus must once again put up with Willie's heavy drinking and a series of incidents that constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Not to mention a nosy department store security guard who's onto them and wants his cut of the loot. Will Willie and Marcus make it to next Christmas? Or will this be the year the dynamic duo finally face justice? Written by
Billy Bob Thornton has found his Josef Von Sternberg in Terry Zwigoff. As a revolting, immoral, insignificant Santa, Billy Bob is a wonder. His face is a moving, disturbing, hysterical reflection of his awareness. His life sucks. The cut from Miami to Billy Bob and his partner walking down the street in their Christmas costumes is, on its own, worth the price of admission. Terry Zwigoff has transformed the crumbs of society into a sophisticated, adult, art form. Billy Bob and his sensational young co star Brett Kelly create characters never seen before on the screen and as a consequence we cling on to their every nuance, incapable to predict what could happen next. That in itself makes Bad Santa a very welcome surprise and a great time at the movies.
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