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The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 2,554 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 19 user | 43 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Based on Michael Chabon's novel, the film chronicles the defining summer of a recent college graduate who crosses his gangster father and explores love, sexuality, and the enigmas surrounding his life and his city.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Lester Speight, Michael Sean McGuinness, Michael Cornacchia
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Joe Bechstein
...
...
Mohammed
...
Keith
Ali Reed ...
Female Book Barn Employee
James A. Harper ...
Teen Book Barn Employee
Don Wadsworth ...
Class Instructor
Christian Hand ...
Punk Rock Bathroom Patron
...
Mohawk Man (as Jarid C. Faubel)
Tim Hartman ...
Restaurant Manager
Shannon Williams ...
Lurch
...
Feldman
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Storyline

Pittsburgh, coming of age in the 1980s. At the beginning of June, Art Beckstein calls this the last summer of his life - after which he'll work as a stock broker. Art's father is the city's mob boss, steering Art's life, judging his choices. At a party, Art sees Jane, smart, blond, lovely. They meet; she has a boyfriend. The next day, Cleveland, the boyfriend, pulls Art from work and the summer of adventures begins. Cleveland lives close to the edge; he's explosive, with hints of problems with local thugs. The triangle of friendship gets complicated when Cleveland disappears for a couple weeks. Can Art sort out his feelings as well as help Cleveland? Where does his father fit in this? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes life leads you to the most mysterious places.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein verhängnisvoller Sommer  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,783 (USA) (10 April 2009)

Gross:

$80,283 (USA) (8 May 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Minghella was originally attached to play Art but dropped out due to school commitments. See more »

Quotes

Jane Bellwether: And what does he do? What does your father do?
Art Bechstein: He manipulates Swiss bank accounts with money that comes from numbers, whores, protection, and cigarette smuggling.
Jane Bellwether: Really?
Art Bechstein: No, he's in finance.
See more »


Soundtracks

Naked As We Came
Written by Iron & Wine (as Samuel Ervin Beam)
Performed by Iron & Wine (as Iron and Wine)
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
Published by Sam Bean Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Watch the Commentary Between Chabon and Thurber FIRST!
8 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For those who find it difficult to appreciate the adaptation format of film making from a famous novel, THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH as now released on DVD should help explain the naysayers' opinions. In a very valuable session of conversations among Michael Chabon and Rawson Marshall Thurber (screenwriter and director) and the producer and cast, the transition of this complex novel into a very altered story is comfortably explained and the person most happy with the result seems to be the originator - Michael Chabon!

That being said this film stands well on its own terms. June and July in hot Pittsburgh generate mysteries among a variety of people, especially the young college graduate Art Bechstein (Jon Foster) who while working in a bookstore wastes time with a fling with the supervisor Phlox (Mena Suvari) with disinterested post grad classes dealing with becoming a broker and having monthly dinners with his mobster father Joe Bechstein (Nick Nolte), until he encounters an odd couple: bisexual biker and thief Cleveland (Peter Sarsgaard) and his female consort, the violinist Jane Bellwether (Sienna Miller). The bizarre interactions among these characters drive Art to make many decisions and discoveries - including his falling in love with both Cleveland and Jane. The summer winds down with Art finally discovering his own identity despite the clouds of mystery that have surrounded his life. It is a piece of life as lived by disparate characters whose direction in life seems at odds with the natural flow of finding happiness and success. But then the question is asked - what is happiness and what is success if not survival?

For this viewer the explanation by the makers of this film was interesting enough to encourage a repeat watching of the movie. A good movie not a great movie, but it still tastes strongly of Michael Chabon's genius. It deserves more attention than the critics have given it.....Grady Harp


19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A challenge to any willing Pittsburghers urza9995
did anyone NOT read the book and saw the movie? rndstr
The Book was a COMING OUT STORY, the movie is a disaster. STAY AWAY. jsngrnt
Pittsburgh is NICE! pittphoenix
What is this crap? Why would she bash Pittsburgh? Vaslo77
WOW this movie SUCKED ingsoc747
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