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Brett C. Leonard
Stephen Adly Guirgis,
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
Micheal Pitt and Steve Buscemi later played together on the TV series Boardwalk Empire (2010) See more »
After Toby stabs Blaine while filming "A Slice of Life", the director calls for a "reset" of the scene, so they may do a retake. Blaine completely removes his blue running jacket, and when the camera cuts to another angle, Blaine is seen to be removing his jacket again. See more »
After the end credits have finished rolling, there is a short 'epilogue' segment featuring Steve Buscemi's character. See more »
Calling all Steve Buscemi fans! I started watching this movie on cable quite by accident. In the opening scene I thought I recognized a friend of mine in a minor role and while waiting for him to reappear and see if it was in fact him I found myself captivated with this brilliant little indie until the end. Steve Buscemi is one of the best, and most interesting, American actors today. (Check him out in his early role as Nick in "Parting Glances" from 1985.) He elevates the level of every movie he does. Although, this film doesn't need any help from him. It's good. REALLY good. It is a character study. And as with most character studies the characters studied are somewhat unpleasant and maybe not very sympathetic. But in this movie they are well worth taking a closer look at.
Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) is the dregs of the paparazzi. He lives in a crap hole apartment in a bad neighborhood and the only thing worse than the neighborhood he lives in is the inside of his apartment. He has horrible parents whom he still visits and has attachments to. And when we see the three of them together it is very sad. A homeless guy named Toby (Michael Pitt) weasels his way into Les's life, and his crap hole apartment, and is eventually promoted from non-rent-paying roommate who sleeps in the closet to paparazzi's assistant. Had enough yet? There's more. Wait until K'Harma Leeds, pop diva, shows up with her entourage. At one point we see her sitting before a Magnus Chord Organ, (like the one I got for Christmas in 1974), composing her next hit. When we later see her perform it at a music awards show we realize what a joke it was that she agonized over whether to use the word "searching" or "looking" because her ONLY talent is that she lip syncs and dances like a stripper, i.e. a pop diva.
The relationship between Les Galantine and Toby is the centerpiece of the story. Les is needy and repulsive all at the same time. He perspires desperation and fear of abandonment. Toby, goes with the flow. And the flow eventually takes him from homeless guy, to pop diva hanger oner, to star of his own really really bad TV show called "Toby" where he plays a homeless serial killer, named Toby. And just a quick reminder here, his name in real life is Toby. This show is so bad they couldn't even be bothered to imagine a different name for the main character so they just used the name of it's "star". His rise to stardom, his romantic intrigues, and his "go with the flow" style of living, are all expertly written as commentary on the vapid lives and personalities of people who are famous for being famous. The writing and directing, by Tom Dicillo, is witty, poignant, and surgical in it's precision. There is not a wasted word or moment anywhere.
Steve Buscemi is great in everything he does. He is brilliant in "Delirious" . Michael Pitt plays Toby with a warmth and sympathy that makes the process of getting a closer look at those around him tolerable. Honestly, I don't think I'm in the "Michael Pitt demographic", and I've never really gotten him as an actor, until this film. He expertly ties all the disparate elements of these characters, Les Galantine, the talentless pop diva (Allison Lohman), the casting agent (Gina Gershon) and their stories, together in a very compelling performance. I have way big respect for him now...
It is not explicitly spelled out but I would like to go on record here to say that I think Les Galantine is gay and in love with Toby. And although that's not central to the story line it does inform us, somewhat, about this sad injured creature. Steve Buscemi, as Les Galantine, is hard to watch and hard to pull away from from beginning to end. That's talent. Equal credit has to go to the writer/director Tom Dicillo. The story, sometimes mocking, sometimes tender, is written and executed perfectly. The pace is perfect. When it's done you don't even know where the time went. If you like well made, interesting movies, with gobs of talent from beginning to end, watch this one. The ending will surprise you, and the journey is well worth it no matter what. By the way, my friend was not in this movie, and the character I thought he was playing never showed up again...
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