Sweet And Lowdown (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  

USA, 1999.  Sweetland Films, Magnolia Productions.  Screenplay by Woody Allen.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Woody Allen’s best film since Mighty Aphrodite is this sweet fictional documentary about the second greatest jazz guitarist who ever lived. Living in the shadow of his hero Django Reinhardt, jazz guitarist  tries to make good but finds himself beset by his inability to grow up, his lack of true committed feelings for any of his women, and his unwillingness to take his talent seriously. In comes a meek and shy mute ( in a remarkable performance) who pitiably loves him and accompanies him on the road, and a Dietrich-like siren () upon whom Penn develops a fixation.  Zhao Fei’s cinematography is beautiful, and the music is wonderful in this small but very memorable little piece of work from a master comedian.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actor (Sean Penn); Best Supporting Actress (Samantha Morton)

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Sean Penn); Best Supporting Actress (Samantha Morton)

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999

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