My Old Addiction

Little Odessa (1994)

JAMES GRAY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.   USA, 1994.  Fine Line Features, Live Entertainment, New Line Cinema.  Screenplay by James Gray.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Deeply felt gangster drama chronicles the destruction of an entire family thanks to one member’s life in organized crime. A Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn are dominated by a quietly powerful father (), who has written off his thug son () and is looking to push his younger boy () to achieve all that he can. Adding heartache to their family life is the imminent death of the boys’ mother () who is suffering from a brain tumor. When Roth comes home for the first time in years, his brother bonds with him in an effort to reclaim their childhood relationship, but the results are disastrous. James Gray makes a mini-Godfather film where the action isn’t glorious or stylish and the moral repercussions of the character’s actions aren’t tied up in false notions of familial solidarity or honour. Instead, there is a sense of tragedy that permeates just about every scene and hangs with perpetual gloom over the character’s heads. It’s not what I’d call a pleasant experience because of how intentionally grim it is, but it has plenty of rewards.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star