A down-and-dirty musical set in the world of working-class New York, tells a story of a husband's journey into infidelity and redemption when he must choose between his seductive mistress and his beleaguered wife.
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Down-and-dirty musical love story set in the world of the working class. Nick is an ironworker who builds and repairs bridges. He's married to Kitty, a dressmaker, a strong and gentle woman with whom he has three daughters. He is carrying on a torrid affair with a redheaded woman named Tula. Nick is basically a good, hardworking man driven forward by will and blinded by his urges. Like Oedipus at Colonus, he is sent into exile and searches to find his way back through the damage he has done. Explores the cost and value of a relationship through life and death. When the characters can no longer express themselves with language, they break into song, lip-synching the tunes lodged in their subconscious. It is their way to escape the harsh reality of their world - to dream, to remember, and to connect to another human being. Written by
When Nick first comes into the house toward the beginning of the movie, his daughter's band is playing outside. When he shuts the front door, the music volume does not change. It should become more muffled with the door shut. See more »
We got the address. No last name. Find the love shack. You got a weapon?
[Kitty holds up a pen knife]
Maybe we should stop. Get somethin' bigger.
I don't need somethin' bigger.
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"Romance & Cigarettes" is a flawed but endearing film. Its stylised dialogue -- often stitched together from song lyrics, lines from films and, I think, even a snatch of Beckett's Endgame -- its characters bursting into lip-synched song and dance, its strange, disjointed scenes and its total lack of romance will doubtless annoy a lot of people hoping for something somewhat more straightforward and conventional. Personally, I was hoping for something that might address the issues of love, romance and relationships which the film, instead, prodded gently before dancing and singing around them. I would also have liked to have seen more of Mary Louise Parker, who I thought was cruelly underused. And...Eddie Izzard? And yet...and yet...I really liked this film. It had an inventiveness and a quirky charm, a surreal, loopy approach to narrative and dialogue, was beautifully filmed and -- within limitations of the form -- wonderfully acted. Particular kudos to Kate Winslet, unrecognizably and thoroughly dislikeable, who nonetheless "sings" one of the more heart-stopping numbers, Ute Lemper's version of Cave & Piseks "Little Water Song", while underwater. Meanwhile, adding to his gallery of whacked-out and weird characters, Christopher Walken delivers what must be one of his weirdest performances yet as the Elvis-idolising Cousin Bo. Like a lot of things in this film, you have to see it to believe it, and even then you won't be too sure.
I see cultdom beckoning for this little gem, late-night showings, repeated viewings, singalongs and favourite lines of dialogue bandied about like a secret currency. It's unlikely that it would have been made if it wasn't John Turturro writing and the Coens producing, but now it's out there, I recommend it be seen, if only for curiosity value. You either hate it or love it and -- for all its flaws -- I loved it.
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