HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Romance & Cigarettes Sing When You're Losing
Year: 2005
Director: John Turturro
Stars: James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Christopher Walken, Barbara Sukowa, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris, P.J. Brown, Adam LeFevre, John Turturro
Genre: Musical, Romance, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nick Murder (James Gandolfini) is a harrassed father of three daughters whose relationship with his wife Kitty (Susan Sarandon) is in jeopardy when he returns home from work one day to find she has discovered an explicit love poem he has written - but not to her. Nick tries to cover for himself, but Kitty is having none of it and a shouting match erupts with him yelling at her that she should have stayed with her first love, a remark that the daughters are left wondering about. Filled with angst, Nick stumbles out into the street, singing Engelbert Humperdinck's "A Man without Love" while various people around him, including the refuse collectors and passersby, join in, creating a ode to Nick's conflicted feelings...

Dennis Potter has a lot to answer for, as John Turturro, working from his own script, takes the template of a basic drama adorned with the cast singing or miming along to old songs on the soundtrack and fashions his own blue collar romance out of it. Appearing to be set in the present day, it dips into songs from the past century for its musical elements, and sets out its stall early on with that scene described above. Frustratingly, few of the songs are played in their entirety - not that I was particularly enamoured of Gandolfini's singing, but some numbers deserved to go on a little longer to give the songs room to breathe.

There is another woman in Nick's life, and she is Tula, played by Kate Winslet with a foul mouth and a thick Northern English accent for reasons best known to herself. Crowned with bright red tresses, she seems more like an actress trying to break out of her more accustomed performances, and pulls it off, whether dancing and singing or indulging in a lot of plain speaking. The story these characters inhabit is pretty basic - man has affair, splits from his wife, tragedy brings them back together - but the presentation of that story is so bizarre for the most part that it's difficult to get a handle on. Indeed, it's tempting to write the whole thing off as a complete mess, but there's something about a noble folly like this that brings its own enjoyment, and with these names in the cast it demands attention.

Even if that attention is more of the ogling a terrible mistake variety than the daring work of art that presumably was intended. In that cast you can witness Sarandon competing in a musical catfight with Winslet after Kitty tracks Tula down to her place of work, Steve Buscemi as Nick's workmate offering unlikely sexual fantasies, and Christopher Walken as Cousin Bo not only singing along with Tom Jones' "Delilah", but acting out the lyrics through the medium of dance (it's a real pity he wasn't able to show off his Terpsichorean skills in more, earlier films). On the way, Nick undergoes circumcision which he thinks will please Tula sexually (she is quite flattered), and finds that after all this, he prefers the woman he married - but she won't have him back. It's only as the story moves into its final act that the tone mellows to a more sorrowful one and the over the top aspects that have previously held sway are let go, with unexpectedly touching effect. Romance & Cigarettes may well be ridiculous, somewhere between absolutely appalling and oddly fascinating, but that just makes it all the more worthwhile - it's not afraid to take chances, and that's to be applauded.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4158 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: