By working through problems stemming from his past, Tom Warshaw, an American artist living in Paris, begins to discover who he really is, and returns to his home to reconcile with his family and friends.
In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos.
On their son Odell's 13the birthday, graphic artist Tom Warszaw finally confesses to his wife why he fled Greenwich Village, NYC at that age to Paris. As a schoolboy, naturally sensitive, considerate Tommy was best buddy with 'adult' half-wit Pappass, father Duncan's Catholic school's assistant janitor. Smothered by his dependent mother, a dumb orderly, Tommy got 'parental advice' from a women's prison inmate. Together with Pappas, he saves up tips from their butchery delivery rounds. One night, Pappas steals the bike they were saving for. Tommy tries to take the blame, but ends up expelled as if the instigator. Even more tragic consequences follow.Written by
Shia LaBeouf was originally cast as Tommy, but was replaced by Anton Yechlin due to a scheduling conflict. See more »
Both Donald Trump World Tower (completed 2001) and 100 UN Plaza (completed 1986) are visible in the 1973 New York City skyline. See more »
My name is Tom Warshaw. I'm an American artist living in Paris. I've lived here for 30 years with a secret nobody knows. My son, Odell, is turning 13 today. And for his birthday, I'm gonna tell him my secret.
I'm gonna tell him, "You know how in old movies when the bad guys want to break into a safe? There's this one guy, the safecracker, who puts his ear up to the lock and listens as he dials the combination, listening for what they call in English, the tumblers. ...
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A Sort of Homecoming; Duchovny makes a decent film-making debut in a bittersweet coming-of-age fable in NYC
HOUSE OF D (2005) *** Anton Yelchin, Tea Leoni, David Duchovny, Robin Williams, Erykah Badu, Frank Langella, Mark Margolis, Zelda Williams, Olga Sosnovska, Magali Amadei, Harold Cartier, Orlando Jones, Willie Garson, Stephen Spinella.
A Sort Of Homecoming
David Duchovny is one of my favorite contemporary actors and has been stigmatized by his iconic TV role as FBI agent Fox Mulder, believer of the incredibly unbelievable , on the late, great "THE X-FILES" and makes a gallant attempt to shrug off his alter ego for a smaller, more personal project in hopes to be taken as a serious actor capable of being versatile. In this, his big-screen directorial debut he makes a decent effort.
As an American expat artist living in Paris, Tom Warsaw (Duchovny) faces some skeletons in his closet and decides to tell his gorgeous wife Coralie (Amadei) and his son Odell (Cartier) on Odell's birthday, just what they are, in the middle of the night awakening some irate neighbors. Despite the late evening disturbance Tom begins to tell the story of how he grew up in New York City's Greenwich Village and how the age of 13 truly became his coming of age.
Flashback to 1973 and 13 year old Tommy (Yelchin, late of HEARTS IN ATLANTIS) has a lot on his plate: his forthcoming puberty blues is running parallel to the recent death of his father leaving him with his manic-depressive mother (Leoni, Mrs. Duchovny, in a competent turn) whose melancholy emotional roller-coaster and clinging vine addiction to sleeping pills only adds to Tommy's dilemma of not having any role models let alone family but does have a best friend, a mentally retarded janitor named Pappass (Williams wisely not going overboard in a remarkably restrained and decent performance) who works at the Catholic school he attends and assists in an after-school job as a meat delivery boy for a local butcher. When not palling with Pappass Tommy seeks refuge in the titular edifice that was an actual detention house for women on 10th St. and 6th Avenue where the prisoners were able to shout from their barred windows to the passersby and vice versea. It is here where Tommy encounters Lady Bernadette (soulful singer Badu in a surprisingly strong supporting turn) who counsels the young adolescent about the birds and bees when Tommy develops a crush on the young Melissa (Williams' real-life daughter Zelda, a chip off-the-old block, in a very natural film debut) who lives on the Upper East Side.
The storyline is quasi-biographical according to Duchovny who I met at the opening day screening in New York and is as low-key and self-deprecatingly funny as you would guess from his talk-show appearances and interviews and has the feel of a latter-day John Cheever novella (Duchovny also penned the screenplay) where the eccentric characters and colorful neighborhoods within neighborhoods come alive in a very vivid naturalistic way (Duchovny truly does capture the era with smartly chosen '70s pop/rock songs as well as the sublime production design by Lester Cohen, Ellen Lutter's period costumes that do not caricature the times and veteran cinematographer Michael Chapman's assuredly pristine cinematography. The acting overall is very good particularly the talented young Yelchin who has a very soft, trembly voice that makes it more intimate to actually LISTEN to what he says and his character may be a bit of a wise-ass but he's not a know-it-all troublemaking jerk like most teens are depicted. Williams balances his sweet-natured Pappass with just enough vulnerability without being too cloying and has some nice moments towards the end of the film. Duchovny has a deft touch especially with his actors an almost Eastwoodian touch in the sense that he has not rushed his players but let them flesh out their roles, even the smaller ones by such wonderful veteran character actors such as Margolis as Pappass' alcoholic father, Langella as the passive/aggressive priest/instructor and Jones as a flashy pimp. His pacing is a bit rocky with some odd choices in editing (one sequence after a school dance when Tommy returns home to his angry mother is a tad off) but otherwise is straightforward in his storytelling.
When Tom finishes his story to his family he's encouraged to return home (to give away anymore of the plot would ruin the viewing but let's say it's bittersweet) to rekindle his youth and find out just who he is.
Duchovny should be proud of this labor of love that shows he is a talented artist who has a lot to say and his film-making debut may not be grand but is definitely noteworthy for the next level of being The Artist Formerly Known As Mulder.
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