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|Index||76 reviews in total|
It wasn't perfect but it was enjoyable, and contained many situations that we could identify with. It's a shame that Peter is having such a hard time getting this film widely distributed when there's so much garbage out there. Eli Wallach was wonderful. On a negative side, I thought casting Bogosian as a Rabbi was a horror although it was meant to be satiric and Harris Yulin was perfect as his boss. My wife and I thought that the idea of having Leo ( or Peter Riegert) admit to Betsy's husband that they had just had sex was kind of ridiculous --- no one in his right mind does that and Leo was not nuts, he was just a little mixed up. You can see how bright he was when he was in his focus groups, and the security phone with Gregory Peck's voice was a riot.
I saw KING OF THE CORNER in an old neighborhood first-ring suburb
cinema in Minneapolis -- probably the best setting for this death of a
salesman story of low-simmering frustrations and expectations.
Primarily a father-son tale, Peter Reigert stars and Eli Wallach pares
back the assemblage of male emotional complexion of life and work what
defines and makes the unambitious yet trapped male crazy.
Reigert's strength as a actor turn director is letting his ensemble acting troupe do their thing. While many European directors, for example Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, have a particular flare for giving actors their reign, too many America films and filmmakers are more into exercising their prowess
Eric Bogosian delivers a particularly funny performance when he arrives two-thirds into this film and it may be a needed gust of air blown into the story but even his eye deeks and silent pauses carry humorous weight. I would have liked to see a bit more character arch and a slightly more weighted dimension to the predicament of supporting characters like daughter Betsy (played by Beverly D'Angelo) and Rachael Spivak (played by Isabella Rossellini) as a conscience to the story. I understand Reigert's desire to deliver a story of cistern melancholy -- that is freaking ambitious in the modern cinema of blunt sensationalist tripe -- but Reigert and Shapior could have pinched, pickled and smoked this film with humor and contrast that lacking the appropriate season cure you find in Isaac Bashevis Singer or Woody Allen at the height of his abilities that speaks in this film to the first-time effort of the screen writing collaboration. However, we need more efforts that reach toward the sublime rather than the obvious and this Minneapolis (Edina) audience really did enjoy Reigert's film.
Reigert's film will be noted for the actors from Wallach to Rossellini to Dustin Hoffman's son Jake's appearance. Reigert's fan club going back to AMINAL HOUSE appreciate his salty fore- lorn comedic talents and the comic actor needs to find written material that can tap and challenge his range. It is always interesting to watch a low-budget film where actors reign and mid-western writer Gerald Shapiro should learn his lessons and be very grateful to get such a major staged reading of his stories (KING OF THE CORNER is based on BAD JEWS AND OTHER STORIES).
I recommend this film as an alternative to all the hyped crap in the commercial pipeline but for the irony and comic droll that really delivers this summer see indie filmmakers Jim Jarmusch's BROKEN FLOWERS or Miranda July's YOU AND ME AND EVERYONE WE KNOW. Cudos to Reigert for this charming and droll debut feature.
Saw this wonderful film in the best possible setting: crisp spring
night, packed house at the Philly Film Festival with the extremely
accomplished Mr. Riegert there in person to speak of his film.
Indeed it was a nice movie--I'd take one film like this over 50 "Meet the Fockers" any day. But for whatever reason I did not consistently, emotionally connect with the characters even though (no spoiler) there was one amazing, dead-on scene toward the end capturing the complexities of the character(s) and the family dynamic beautifully.
I found certain parts of the plot somewhat unrealistic (in degree, not kind) and although the cast overall was wonderfully assembled with a (according to Mr. Riegert) a very limited budget, unlike the opinion expressed by this fine actor (and Director) I did NOT find the casting of Ms. Rosselini to be the best "match" for the family portrayed. Almost jarring to me at times.
That being said, this is what "indy" films" should be about: a vision nicely executed. I hope the film succeeds on every level.
This film is a must for the sandwich generation. I saw this at a special screening in Salt Lake City at the Broadway Theatre with a Q&A after the movie with Mr. Reigert. Excellent performances with writing that takes you through the layers of the characters like a fun house full of mirrors. Each scene and character reflects the complexities of this time of life. It is refreshing to sit through a film that deals with everyday people just working through their lives with humor and a strong sense of oblivion. Not always knowing what the consequences will be and just doing what feels right makes this one of the best journeys I have witnessed in a long, long time. Wonderful!
Rave! rave! rave! See this movie if only to see another side of the status of salesmen in the USA. The theme of the "lost" salesman is a strong theme in American theater, with "Death of a Salesman" being the one that stands out the most in the shared memories of veteran theatergoers. The rootless salesperson who lives a life of quiet desperation only to succumb to an even more meaningless death permeates our cinematic culture, with "Glengarry Glen Ross" being one of the more recent examples. This film is more like "Rebirth of a Salesman", and is most worthy of your patronage. I saw this film at the Taos Film Festival, and it is touring various festivals. It should be high on your list. Under Riegert's direction, a veteran cast plays out the usual downward spiral of a salesman's later years, but ends with a more upbeat note that leaves one with a satisfying feeling rarely felt when leaving most movies.
Peter Riegert is the heart and soul of this picture - he IS everything to the picture and his personal endorsement is what makes it happen - for the picture and for the audience - THANK YOU PETER RIEGERT!!!!!!! Meeting him, hearing him talk about co-writing the picture, selecting the name KING OF THE CORNER, how the other actors became involved, traveling from place to place filming the picture, the support of the entire staff that worked with him on the picture - all of this helped me to understand what goes into making a real picture, not the big money from big name studios, but the heart and soul of dedicated actors and professionals. I enjoyed this movie more than any movie I have seen in years and will continue to sing its praises to everyone I know....keep up the good work, Peter!
"King of the Corner" is much like life after 40; the finer calibrations between highs and lows are as revelatory as the milestones. A superb cast brings an enormous wealth of worldly-wise expertise to illuminate this gentle, funny tale of a man whose midlife crisis arrives without warning. Never obvious but always familiar, it's a demonstration of craft and authenticity that can only come with maturity. If you like films, it's affirming to see such a good product made on a low budget. The film is making its way around the country at various festivals and showcases -- keep an eye out for it. The always formidable Riegert is ably supported by a cast that includes Rita Moreno and Eli Wallach, whose mere presence on screen speaks to an actor's life well-lived.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Riegert presented his new film King of the Corner here in
Albuquerque last night at the local The Guild indie theatre. A Q&A
followed that was almost as good as the film because Riegert is very
intelligent, funny, and articulate. He's apparently embarked upon a
"book tour" kind of film distribution scheme that really worked for me
last night. (I suppose the attraction is similar to watching Oprah, but
I'm at work during her show.) Other indie directors have done this for
years but without Riegert's MovieWorld connections and the
name-recognizable actors he's using. Let's hope he starts a trend among
"profile" artists/directors and, damn-the-distributors. This could be
the Anti-Raygun-Trickle-Up Theory in action.
Ah, yes, the movie. See it (R Rated for implied sex and a couple a naughty words can you believe it) because you and/or your loved ones are portrayed in it. (Hope that statement doesn't constitute a "spoiler.") My wife suggested that you can relate the film's themes and accidents to British director Mike Leigh's movies then you can really appreciate Riegert's treatment of human frailty and the life/stories of real people--you and me Cousin (as opposed to Pilgrim). The plot covers all of the stories of anyone who has been married0, had children, dealt with a teenager, a deadening job, an aged/dying parent, experienced or attempted infidelity. All there and masterfully told.
I don't understand why this film didn't find a distributor, but of
course the film industry is a mystery to me. This is an entertaining
film that walks that difficult line between humor and sadness, never
falling off the edge into schmaltz. It has film conventions that would
appeal to a wide audience, with a spare edgy choice being the grainy
look to the cinematography in particular scenes, which seems fitting to
the conflicts that the main character, Leo Spivak, is dealing with. His
character treks a satisfying arc through the film from boredom and
frustration with work and home at the beginning, to self-realization
and affirmation of each aspect of his life at the end. All of the
conflicts that Leo grapples with are easy to relate to, touching on
much of the appeal of the film. All of the characters are organic, and
the cast has good chemistry that keeps the story engaging throughout.
Peter Riegert is wonderful in the lead role as Leo Spivak. He offers his usual steady, solid performance, but this character presents opportunities to stretch and let loose emotionally, and Riegert indulges with seasoned skill. Eric Bogosian as an unconventional rabbi and Eli Wallach as Leo's grizzled father shine in memorable roles. The rest of the cast including Isabella Rossellini, Beverly D'Angelo, Ashley Johnson and Rita Moreno make the most of limited screen time and do a fine job.
King of the Corner gets a high recommendation from me.
I just saw this film, and got a chance to meet its very talented lead actor/director/co-writer. Peter Reigert is a very genuine man, what you see on the screen is really him, and he has a marvelous touch for comedy. The camera work was solid, and he seems to have had absolutely no trouble with self-directing, something which can be very tricky. This film is a wonderful comedy, with a great big heart. In the end you will laugh, and cry a little. You will enjoy it. It has a highly talented cast, and a marvelous script. The only reason that I can see for it having trouble finding a distributor is, as Mr. Reigert himself says, that Hollywood has no idea how to market this film. It is a character study with no big action pieces, and frankly they categorize it with Woody Allen films (which they also have no idea how to market). The trick is that this is art, in its purist sense. Because it is art, no one can tell you what to take away from it, or how to experience it (as Mr. Reigert pointed out when asked). Everyone has to go and see it for themselves to come away with the film's meaning and message, and not everyone will come away with the same one. I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in a good laugh. It really is a shame that no one is willing to distribute this film.
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