Lefty

Three Irish-American buddies from Chicago's south side reunite in this uneven video drama by writer-director Todd Looby, who filled the cast with friends and local improv actors. Strongest are Thomas Madden (who cowrote the screenplay) as a struggling painter who returns home from Colorado because he fears he has cancer, and Bill Phelan as his soldier pal who signs on for a second tour in Iraq. They speak and move in a natural, convincing way, setting them apart from other cast members who mostly are either too mannered or lack skill. The story covers two weeks in which the characters thrash out their problems, few of which get resolved. Looby re-edited the movie to delete a scene that appeared early in his first cut, but the trim only creates a narrative glitch in this version's final scene. 87 min.

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