Trees Lounge

Reviewers who called this sincere if highly familiar look at aimless lives in Brooklyn (1996, 94 min.)—a first feature written, directed by, and starring Steve Buscemi—superior to John Cassavetes, whom Buscemi has described as a major influence, have done a radical disservice to the modest virtues of this picture, as well as misconstrued Cassavetes's own multifaceted achievement (which had more to do with close scripting than most people imagine). The title refers to a bar where most of the characters hang out, and though the film occasionally conveys some of the sweetness of early Cassavetes it has none of the mystery: these characters are enjoyable types but not a lot more. Certainly the cast has fun: Anthony LaPaglia, Elizabeth Bracco, Mark Boone Jr., Chloe Sevigny, Daniel Baldwin, and Carol Kane.

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