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Brett C. Leonard
Stephen Adly Guirgis,
The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.
Les, a small-time celebrity photographer desperate to make it big, befriends Toby, a homeless young man with no direction except a vague desire to become an actor. When by chance Toby becomes romantically involved with K'Harma Leeds, the hottest pop star of the moment, Les grows jealous and plots revenge. Written by
Delirius has perhaps done the impossible. That is manage to blend equal parts cynicism and fantasy. These opposite qualities work off one another and result in a gem of a movie.
The smart observations of the celebrity industry are right on the mark. Yet the movie doesn't drown in satire. Human touches are smoothly interwoven into the plot. Most noteworthy is a scene when Steve Buscemi is desperately trying to attain approval from his sterile, rather nasty old parents. Also a standout moment is the scene that takes place at Kharma's hotel, when she first brings Toby there. It is amusing to see Buscemi's character Les become unraveled at Toby's success. Somehow the ending seemed so right, again showing hope and the good side of human nature among the muck of a mercenary, dog-eat-dog world.
The cast is excellent and the acting superb. This is a little cinematic treasure that deserves some recognition.
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