Showing posts with label John Turturro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Turturro. Show all posts

13 January 2015

DVD Review - God's Pocket (2013)

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God’s Pocket will go down in history as one of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last films. It won’t make any other serious dent in the history of cinema, but it’s a perfectly fine, indie-spirited, black comedy, that harkens back to the glory days of the character based stories of 70s cinema. It’s also the directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery, which is why his Mad Men co-star Christina Hendricks plays Hoffman’s wife.

The film is set in a close knit, working class community where Mickey Scarpato (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tries to cover up the death of his son who has died in a mysterious accident. His wife Jeanie (Christina Hendricks) is convinced he was murdered. The local reporter Richard Shellburn (Richard Jenkins) also suspects something is amiss and begins to investigate.

God’s Pocket major flaw is in its tone: it is a dark comedy but it’s either too earnest or too broadly comedic to go full out. With that said, the film is funny at times, mostly because of the absurd situations Hoffman’s Micky gets into. For example, there is great set piece of him driving a dead body around only for it to fall out, which is reminiscent of Hitchcock’s unsung masterwork The Trouble with Harry. The film is passable however, due to a strong performance by Hoffman who could read the phonebook and make it captivating. John Turturro has a supporting role, and brings some comical relief as he normally does and Richard Jenkins is fantastic as usual as the alcoholic journalist.

Overall it’s a film that wants to be Five Easy Pieces or any other great 70s drama but at times it feels a little too forced. It does have strong performances from the cast, which is probably due to the fact the director is an actor himself. John Slattery makes an admirable directorial debut even though it doesn’t fully work and it’s nice to see a film about the working poor from the States as it’s so rare these day.

★★★ 

Ian Schultz