Newest Review: ... excellent. There again so is the entire cast. Francis McDormand also appears, all too briefly in my view, as a friendly hooker. I loved... more
Mmmm all those yummy cream cakes
Member Name: radams
Date: 18/11/02, updated on 18/11/02 (53 review reads)
Advantages: Great characterisation, Good story, Gently funny scenes
Disadvantages: No big production - but that's probably an advantage
Palookaville was the first feature film from director Alan Taylor. Of course, he went on to direct The Sopranos, which gives you some idea of the quality of his work.
It’s based on a short story by Italian writer Italo Calvino – again, a good indication of quality, as far as I’m concerned.
The 3 buddies central to this movie are played by William Forsyth (Sid), Vincent Gallo (Russ), and Adam Trese (Jerry) – all are excellent. There again so is the entire cast. Francis McDormand also appears, all too briefly in my view, as a friendly hooker. I loved her performances in Fargo, Almost Famous, and Blood Simple, and any movie with her in it has got my vote.
The lads are all unemployed, and turn to crime as a last resort. Although we are not really sure whether it’s from lack of money, or sheer boredom, that they become burglars.
They do have motives, e.g. Sid is getting evicted, and Russ desperately needs to move out of his mum’s house. There are disfunctional families and weird relationships aplenty.
From the beginning, with the jaunty music in the background, you just know that something’s going to go wrong with the burglary, and not in a deadly serious or tragic way. You also know that these must be, at heart, good guys.
Even before the titles at the start, we see how the thwarted criminals behave when they find themselves in an empty bakery - surrounded by cream cakes. I can relate to that!
They’re amateur criminals - for their ‘big job’, they even use techniques copied from an old black and white film they just happen to see on the TV.
Basically, it's a really good feel-good movie, and one of my favourites from the 90s.
Just 88 minutes long – the perfect length for a movie.
It has a Cert. 15 - I'd say it's suitable for family viewing.