Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lonesome Jim on DVD
This week I watched Lonesome Jim, a movie, directed by the great Steve Buscemi, that didn't last long in the theaters earlier this year, and is now on DVD. I loved Trees Lounge, which was the first movie that Buscemi directed, and was the first DVD that I ever bought, so I've been looking forward to this. Lonesome Jim stars Casey Affleck as Jim, who has moved back home to Goshen, Indiana, from Manhattan, where he was a dogwalker/writer. He is clearly depressed, and collapses in a ball as soon as he makes it back home, where he joins his family -- his brother Tim (Kevin Corrigan), his father Don (played by Seymour Cassel, who is one of those actors that is so good, he doesn't even seem like an actor) and his mother Sally (played by Mary Kay Place, who is also very good).

We are left to wonder why, but brother Tim shares his brother's "chronic despair." Jim thinks Tim is even worse off, and tells him so, which results in Tim, who is a divorced father of two young girls, driving his car into a tree and not quite killing himself. Prior to this, Jim picks up Anika (Liv Tyler) at a bar. You know, just like in real life, depressed guy with nothing at all going for him, no job, lives with his parents, looks like he doesn't shower, goes to a bar and immediately picks up someone that looks like Liv Tyler.

Anyway, Anika is as cheerful and positive as Jim is, well, depressed, and she and her young son quickly become a part of Jim's life, as well as Tim's. They hang out with them and their parents, which puzzles Jim who can't imagine why anyone would want to join such a band of losers. Thus we have the vehicle for Jim's awakening, although he never really becomes wide awake, just a little more awake than before, and, we think, with the potential to eventually develop into a human being.

It's not a great movie, but I liked it. It was shot well, and the long shots of Jim's arrival into Goshen are great, as are the shots of what, for Jim, is a night on the town. There are a lot of kids in this movie, who seem like (and, after all, are) real kids, which helps the movie seem like real life (except for the Liv Tyler part), which is often boring and depressing.

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