Romance & Cigarettes

For his third movie as director (2005), John Turturro came up with a novel project: a working-class musical, set in his native Queens, in which the shabby characters belt out vintage AM favorites backed by the original recordings. This singing-along-to-the-radio effect has a dingy charm that honors the blue-collar Italian setting, yet Turturro spoils it by turning the movie into a hip star party, with a cast of indie-acting royalty that includes James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Aida Turturro, and Eddie Izzard. The hard-won family home where most of the action transpires looks convincingly cheap and lived-in, but not when it's got Mary-Louise Parker flouncing around it. R, 105 min.

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