Lonesome Jim

Lonesomejim Year: 2005

Writer: James C. Strouse

Director: Steve Buscemi

Budget: $500 000 (estimated)

Gross: $154 077

we all know steve bushemi the actor, but i'm sure that many out there don't know steve bushemi the director.  besides his two previous feature films he has also directed multiple episodes of The Sopranos and was even nominated for an emmy.

Lonesome Jim is his third feature film as director.  the film is about jim (casey affleck) who comes back to small town indiana to live with his parents after failing as a writer in new york.  he is completely depressed and has only come back as a last resort - which he tells them over breakfast.  his divorced brother is also living at home with his two kids and as jim points out , and i paraphrase here ' your life is worse then mine.'  one night at a bar he meets a nurse (liv tyler). 

ya, okay, so i'm sure we all saw that part coming, and i'm not claiming that Lonesome Jim is braking any major new ground here.  however, it does have its own take on this semi-well-tred story and bushemi's eye for detail and humanity turn the film into a little gem.  the film was shot digital and with lots of hand held camerawork, and the grey tone and slightly grainy look seem to reflect the somber feel and mood of jim himself.

peter travers over at rolling stone magazine said, about the film, 'i can't recall having a better time at a movie about depression' - to say i had fun watching this movie about depression sounds oxymoronic, but it is the case.  the film has a nice slow pace that didn't leave me bored or wanting it to go any faster.  the film felt, and moved, like the town in which it took place. 

while casey affleck is able to carry the film, it isn't an easy performance to carry for 90 minutes given that it is a bit of a one note character - that note being depressed with a few brief moments of less depressed.  the supporting cast is great, especially mary-kay place as the mother.  liv tyler is sweet and beautiful as always and is definitely different from her role in One Night At McCool's, which i discussed a few weeks ago.

the film did the festival circuit a few years back but i don't know if it ever got much, if any kind, of theatrical release.  it is, however, worth checking out.