When Mickey's crazy step-son Leon is killed in a construction 'accident', nobody in the working class neighborhood of God's Pocket is sorry he's gone. Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body, but when the boy's mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle between a body he can't bury, a wife he can't please and a debt he can't pay.Written by
John Slattery's feature film debut is a competent if small-scale effort. Faithfully adapted from the 1983 novel of the same name, it is an enjoyable snapshot into a dark lower Philadelphia Neighbourhood.
What is obvious is the affection for the source material. The film differs little from Pete Dexter's book, and is better for it. The sometimes lethargic pace is livened by some genuine surprises, and there is always that all important sense of atmosphere.
If there was ever an actor who knew not how to overact, it was Philip Seymour Hoffman. In his penultimate appearance, he and Christina Hendricks both deliver an underplayed performance as the central couple, allowing the rest of the ensemble the more colourful scenes.
It is not without it's faults. The story is told over a period of three days, and it is perhaps for that reason that it sometimes feels episodic. The whole film plays like one of Slattery's self- directed episodes of Mad Men. The ending does not escape the clichés typical of its genre. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining watch, a promising debut, and another sad reminder of why Philip Seymour Hoffman will be missed.
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