Lonesome Jim, comedy drama, was directed by Steve Buscemi and hit the cinemas in 2005. Starring Casey Affleck, Kevin Corrigan andMary Kay Place, it tells the story of Jim, a young man who having decided to strike out on his own, find s that he cannot really hack it in the real world and returns to his parents place.
Jim, is like many of us, an everyman figure who tries for his big dream and fails, falling further than if he had never tried at all. As such, he is an incredibly sympathetic figure, one who the audience warms to immediately. Despite having depressive tendencies, he doesn’t come across as a whinger or moaner but as someone who has been ground down by life.
That’s not to say that this film is miserable, far from it, it’s an incredibly funny and real dark comedy, a character piece with a plot, something that rewards the actors with sparkling lines of dialogue for them to really get their teeth into. Which they do with great skill and evident joy. Casey Affleck is one of those actors who often gets overlooked, and fairly as he has been known to give decidedly mediocre performances here but whether down to excellent casting or Buscemi’s guiding hand, he really delivers the goods here, making Jim totally believable and someone that we care for from the word go. Equally good are the supporting cast, including Liv Tyler in a surprisingly subtle turn as a woman who Jim eventually manages to bed, to the complete surprise of his brother who decides that her standards must therefore be so low that he is in with a chance himself! The standout however is Mark Kay ~Place as Jim’s mother, resigned to her son’s failure and an everyman figure who cares for him very deeply nonetheless.
Buscemi proves once again that he knows what he is doing as a director and despite being shot on DV, the film has a quality to it which belies it’s low budget origins. A funny and moving drama about one man’s struggle with both the world and himself, this is a great and heartfelt piece of film. See it and love it.
Director: Steve Buscemi
Writer: James C. Strouse
Stars: Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler and Mary Kay Place
Release Date: 11 April 2008 (UK)