A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray's life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music.Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The guitar that Emmet Ray (Sean Penn) plays in the movie is a Selmer Maccaferri of about 1932, though it seems likely that it's a reproduction of the rare instrument and not an original. This is the same kind of guitar played and made famous by Django Reinhardt. See more »
The two movies that come to mind when I think about Sean Penn and his acting ability are not Mystic River and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. They are Carlito's Way and Sweet & Lowdown. In both of these movies, he immerses himself in the characters, while in most of his other movies, including the art house hits like 21 Grams and Hurly Burly, he plays more or less the same type of person. Sweet and Lowdown has Penn playing a self-absorbed classical guitarist who obsesses over a world-renowned guitarist much in the way Woody Allen obsesses over things in his other movies. Woody himself shows up as a commentator (this, like Zelig, is presented in mock documentary fashion). It is amusing, if slight (and a sign of things to come in 2000-2002, with Small Time Crooks, Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Hollywood Ending). Samantha Morton won a justified Oscar nomination, but Uma Thurman and Gretchen Mol are wasted (Uma got second billing over Sean Penn, and is hardly in the movie!) Not a Woody Allen masterpiece, but fans could do worse.
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