Lonesome Jim (2005)
Trailer-Tom White, My Life Without Me, Russian Dolls
Trailer-Beat My Heart Skipped
|Year Of Production||2005|
|Running Time||87:43 (Case: 91)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Steve Buscemi|
Twentieth Century Fox
Mary Kay Place
Mark Boone Junior
Jake La Botz
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jim left the isolated Indiana for the bright lights of New York and Manhattan in the hope of a successful writing career but was left walking dogs or working as a waiter. Almost 30 years old he has returned to his family penniless, depressed and without the desire for anything. His overbearing mother (Mary Kay Place) couldn’t be happier to see her son and is endlessly proud of him despite his failure to live out his dream. Jim’s father (Seymour Cassel) is disappointed that his son expects to drift through life without any motivation while Jim’s older brother Tim (Kevin Corrigan) is also at his wit's end as he is 32, divorced with two pre-teenagers and lives at home and works for his mother. The isolated Midwestern landscape does have its gem in Anika (Liv Tyler), a young single mother who takes a shine to Jim.
In a significant scene Jim and Tim compare their wasted existences. Tim, believing he is worthless, is found in a coma after a failed suicide attempt. Guilt-ridden, Jim is forced to take on his brother’s life, working in the family business and becoming an existent figure in his niece’s lives. As Jim tries to have a ‘normal’ relationship with Anika, he is also forced into a situation by his drug dealing uncle, which leaves not only the family business in jeopardy but also his mother's well being.
Casey Affleck is excellent as the Lonesome Jim of the title; he is monotonous and deadpan yet increasingly likeable, reminiscent of Bill Murray’s Don Johnston in Broken Flowers (2005). Equally good is Liv Tyler as a young woman unsure whether or not she should let someone like Jim into her life and the life of her impressionable young son. Buscemi lends a sense of poetic realism to the production with the lingering scenes of secluded wide landscapes and minimal soundtrack.
There is hope for Jim in the very end in the most unlikely set of circumstances and there is a certain warmth and charm to the depressing situations presented in the film. This a commendable film in which Steve Buscemi, who is also a wonderful actor, shares his fondness of characters who are full of doubts, insecurities and purposelessness as shown in Trees Lounge (1996) and now in Lonesome Jim (2005).
The film is presented in 1.75:1 widescreen and is 16x9 enhanced. The production was filmed with Digital cameras but interestingly it has been transferred to 35mm film stock. The result of this is heavy grain which is intentional and is unique to the concept of the film. The transfer besides the intentional grain which at times can look like heavy MPEG compression is very good with no major defects. Colour and shadow detail are well defined.
The soundtrack is composed by Evan Lurie who is the brother of John Lurie and is of Lounge Lizards fame. The score is unobtrusive, loose and melancholy and suits the mood and sensibilities of the film incredible well. The English Dolby Digital 2.0 score is also well suited to the picture which is based on dialogue and as expected is mostly effective in the front soundstage.
|Surround Channel Use|
A selection of other releases from Palace films such as Tom White, My Life Without Me, Russian Dolls and The Beat My Heart Skipped.
The film had a limited cinema release in the US in March 2006 and as a result it is unreleased on DVD in R1 as yet.
A wonderful film made with warmth and affection and filled with miserable characters who are on the path towards a better attitude and a better existence. With a likeable cast and a script which is steeped in misery and sadness but maintains a sense of humour and commendable direction, the film is thoroughly appealing. The DVD is a rental and as a result is bare-bones and the presentation of the film is unremarkable.
|DVD||Denon DVD-1910, using DVI output|
|Display||Panasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Yamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS|
|Speakers||(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12|