Dennis Farina gives a tour de force performance in this homage to early-1970s “tough guy” films. Sixtysomething Chicagoan Joe May—a short-money hustler of Rolex knockoffs and bootleg DVDs—returns home from a hospital stay to find out that his apartment has been rented to single mother Jenny (Jamie Anne Allman) and her young daughter Angelina (Meredith Droeger) because everyone thought he was dead. Begrudgingly, Joe accepts Jenny’s offer to share the apartment. Joe plots his comeback scheme, but instead a domino effect occurs with everything going against him.
Writer/director Joe Maggio, as with his New York-set Milk & Honey (TFF ’03), skillfully utilizes the urban setting as a character. The gentrifying area around Joe May isolates him more as his life spirals downward with only one last glimmer of greatness in sight. Maggio gives Farina a role to immerse himself in: Joe May has the right amount of tough desperation but just enough charm to make you root for him even when he is chasing a lost dream. The other actors in the talented ensemble (the film was made in association with the Steppenwolf Theater Co.) shine, especially Allman and young newcomer Droeger, who hold their own in weighty scenes with Farina. —Tribeca Film Festival
Farina bravo to your performance. I like this film and its story. Shame on the Oscar people for not recognizing Farina's talent. I give the middle finger for every time they deny someone a nomination. I have already bought the DVD. It is a great movie and for anyone who has not seen it, watch it because of Farina, he's too good to miss.