Thoughts on the film “Lonesome Jim”

During SIFF I saw the film, Lonesome Jim.  What follows are my thoughts on the movie and not really a review.  It also may contain spoilers so do not say you have not been warned.
Lonesome Jim is a great example of an independent film that is not going to be seen in big movie complexes and will be regulated to more art house screens.  It was directed by Steve Buscemi and has Casey Affleck in the staring role.  Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, Seymour Cassel, and Kevin Corrigan all are familiar faces in supporting roles.
Casey Affleck’s character Jim returns to a small middle America town after not surviving too well in big New Your city in his late 20s.  His family is somewhat depressing, except for his mother, and he just adds to the depression.  Early in the film when he is out bar hopping one night he meets Liv Tyler’s character and they hit it off.  Right after that because things are so depressing in the family the brother tries to kill himself by crashing into a tree.  Jim feel a bit guilty about this because he had talk to his brother and basically told him that while he had come home to have a nervous breakdown his brother seemed worse than he did.  Jim then as to take over the duties of his brother as the basketball coach of a team that his two nieces play on.  We also find out that Tyler’s character as a son who is brought into the mix.  The kids are great in this film despite the fact that Tyler’s kid seems to use speech and though far beyond his years.  The family which owns a ladder making factory runs into trouble when the FBI comes to arrest the mother for drug trafficking.  It is actually a dumb uncle that was peddling the drugs but he was using the business address and of course he does not come forward.  There are parts that are really funny in the film including most scenes with the mom, like how she just deals with being in jail but there are other parts that are very dark and depressing.  I cannot tell if I think Liv Tyler is a good actress or not but that thought keep running through my head as I watch it.  In the end things come together for the family a bit but there is nothing like a truly happy ending – other than “the guy stays with the girl” kind of plot ending.  Life just kind of moves on.

If you like art house pictures or dark comedies I say you should check this out.  If you are going just to see the named actors in the movie I doubt you will really like it although Affeck and Place did great jobs in their roles.

About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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