Saturday, 16 February 2008

GFF review: Lonesome Jim - by Sandra Dupuy

Director: Steve Buscemi
Screenplay: James C. Strouse
Running time: 91 min
Certificate: 15
Screenings: 15th and 16th of February, GFT.

A pale landscape roughened by the faded grainy browns and greys of an Indiana winter slowly unfolds on the big screen. A slender silhouette staggers from the bus and the camera quickly closes on Casey Affleck’s melancholy face. Lonesome Jim’s back in town, dragging his despair and grudging humanity with him.

The self-confessed chronically depressed 27 year old, unable to make it as a part-time dog walker in Manhattan, reluctantly returns to his parents’ home-sweet-home in small town Indiana, sharing their unrequited affection with his older brother, a would-be CIA agent turned volunteer baseball coach, father of two and all round loser. Ensues a dry, bittersweet slice of life with old family dysfunctions festering under a smiley surface and a rocky romance punctuated with infectious laughter.

Rising star Affleck’s stunning performance and strong support from co-stars Liv Tyler (nurse and single Mom Anika), Mary Kay Place (Jim’s mother), Seymour Cassel (Jim’s father), Buscemi’s old pal Mark Boone Junior (Jim’s Uncle Evil) and child sensation Jack Rovello (Anika’s son Benjamin) provide endearing entertainment under the teasing and benevolent gaze of actor/director Steve Buscemi. A consummate performer himself, he lends the film his troubled philanthropy and quirky outlook on life. It has taken him five years to concoct another masterpiece in a minor key for the big screen, after the dark and gritty Animal Factory (2000), but his new directing adventure is well worth the wait. If the Montage team had to devise an award for the GFF’s best independent picture, Lonesome Jim would be your humble reviewer’s first choice.

1 comment:

roger said...

Why should the reviewer be so humble ? Her text is very good !