Posts Tagged ‘unsympathetic protagonist’

Lonesome Jim (Buscemi, 2005. US)

Masturbatory self-pity when pretensions of brilliance forgo decency.

Lonesome Jim does exactly what it says on the tin- it’s all about Jim and his lonesomeness. This film has been subjected to a fair deal of hate on the webs, and rightfully so really. The eponymous Buscemi-lite drifter is one of the most unlikeable protagonists to grace indie screens in recent years. Not in an uncomfortable-yet-necessary way, as we might find in a Noah Baumbach flick, or in a misunderstood-and-redeemable manner, ala Wes Anderson. Nope, Jim is just a prick. Consequently he  spends a lot of time on his jack jones.

There are some redeeming notes scattered about hither and thither, the only vestiges of Buscemi’s direction. As a character, I would have enjoyed watching Jim had he been played by a late 20s Buscemi in his trademark slightly socially incompetent sad sack routine. I like Affleck, especially in 2005’s Gone Baby Gone; he is a prime example of my slowly-evolving Hollywood theory: The Rule of Diminished Siblings. This is where the less famous/bankable sibling in a famous acting family is always a far better actor and quite often a more likeable person. Cf Casey Affleck, Joseph Fiennes, Joan Cusack, Rory Culkin… erm, Emilio Estevez. [Okay, every rule has its exceptions! Sx] (more…)

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Here it is folks. I haven’t even read back what I’ve written, but this is the first Liveblogging attempt. It’s pretty long, so I’m going to trial using  exerpts intead of full posts on the home page. Hope you enjoy!

********Warning Full SPOILERS*********

Sugarhouse (Love, 2007. UK)

00:00:20

A not quite middle aged white man traverses real London, beyond the City and the tourists, and though he is almost certainly a native, he seems uncomfortable out here, maybe in the heart of the city, perhaps as far afield as Zone 3. The graffiti tag stylising of the opening credits set the genre quite distinctly. British, urban, almost certainly gritty, dealing with class and poverty. Your standard inner-city drama/thriller I’d say. Oh, and Gollum’s in it as someone called ‘Hoodwink’ who I’ll bet is a kingpin drug dealer or gang lord type. Three to One.

Just in case we hadn’t noticed this man’s out-of-placeness, the handheld DV flags it up for us. His eyes light on a series of grotesques and caricatures as his unease becomes ours. Directed by Gary Love. He is accosted in a market café by Ashley Walters out of So Solid who earned his stripes and showed his chops in Bullet Boy. Here he seems to be playing some demented delinquent version of himself again. Less world weary than his lead role in that film.

As the altercation ends we see our man did intend to meet this capering rood boy Caliban, so what is he up to? He’s clearly involved in something over his head, that much is clear from the office attire and the way he gazes up at the high rise tower block they come to. A visually striking crane shot presents the block as something more than poorly-planned social housing for a moment, it is Hockney or one of those great American print artists. Then we snap down to ground level and it’s just somewhere you hope you won’t have to live. Or visit. (more…)