Nick Murder (Gandolfini) has been found out. His wife Kitty
(Sarandon) and his three daughters Rosebud (Turturro), Constance (Parker)
and Baby (Moore) have discovered that he is having an illicit affair with
lingerie sales girl Tula (Winslet). Even though he denies everything to
them they know what he is doing but for Nick it is the first time he has
felt this alive. But is he prepared to give up everything?
When John Turturro writes and directs a movie, indie film
fans are bound to take notice but can his musical version of modern romance
be as brilliant to watch as the actor usually is?
Over the years John Turturro has almost become a legend in
independent film. While he has appeared in a few big budget, Hollywood blockbusters
like 'Quiz Show', 'Collateral Damage', 'Mr. Deeds', 'Anger Management' and
'Secret Window', it is his indie film appearances that made him the renowned,
character actor that film buffs adore. Who can forget his performances for
the Coen Brothers in film like 'Miller's Crossing', 'Barton Fink', 'O Brother,
Where Art Thou?' and of course his performance as Jesus Quintana in the
classic 'The Big Lebowski', as well has quintessential performances in 'Do
the Right Thing', 'Mo' Better Blues' and 'The Luzhin Defence', John Turturro
is an actor that is talented but can he become just as talented as a director?
While this isn't his first film as a writer and a director,
this is his highest profile project yet. He has taken the male midlife crisis
and added a new twist. His central character Nick Murder has grown distant
from his marriage and his daughter as he becomes increasing ignored by the
women in his life. He finds some solace in the arms of a beautiful lingerie
sales woman called Tula but even though she is falling for him, he can never
leave his wife Kitty because he is starting to remember why he loved his
wife in the first place. This is commonplace in many an indie drama but
what makes 'Romance & Cigarettes' different is that these characters break
out into song.
Instead of gathering together a collection of talented musical
theatre performers or actors who can sing, he has cast ones that you would
never have thought of. In the lead role of Nick Murder he cast 'Sopranos'
leading man James Gandolfini. Watching him break into song is a little strange
at first but it does reveal how talented an actor he really is. Susan Sarandon
can also belt out a tune and we all know that Mandy Moore can sing. Bobby
Cannavale is hilarious as Fryburg. Christopher Walken sings and dances his
way through his scenes and Kate Winslet can really ring as well as looking
'Romance & Cigarettes' is something very different from everyone
involved and for the most part it works. It is the story that lets it down
slightly as it could have done with more development in both plot and character.
The mixture of modern and old songs however works and seeing these stars
belt out a tune is well worth your time. Relationships are something to
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35: with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
presentation is good.
Previews of 'Down in the Valley', 'The Chumscrubber', 'The Notorious Betty
Page' and 'The Darwin Awards'
The complete lack of extras for the release of this movie is almost criminal.
This is a film dying for extras as fans would have loved to have seen
how the cast prepared for their singing roles or heard them in a commentary.
Fans deserve more than this.
| Hush, Hush... | The
Big Story | The Usher Speaks
@ Home | Coming Soon | Links
| Contact the Usher