Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1995. Miramax, InterAL. Situations by Paul Auster, Wayne Wang, based on characters created by Paul Auster. Cinematography by Adam Holender. Produced by Greg Johnson, Peter Newman, Diana Phillips. Production Design by Kalina Ivanov. Costume Design by Claudia Brown. Film Editing by Christopher Tellefsen. Toronto International Film Festival 1995.
The filmmakers who created Smoke found themselves with leftover characters and sets from the first film and decided to make a sort of semi-sequel. Instead of a script, they based the film entirely on the improvisations of the actors involved, and the film plays out more like Actors Studio exercises then entertainment, but if there’s someone who’s in it that you’re big fan of, you might enjoy it. Highlights include Lily Tomlin as a homeless woman with a yen for Belgian waffles, Mira Sorvino as an innocent passerby who gets her purse stolen, and an adorable Madonna who shows up at the end as a singing telegram girl. Harvey Keitel reprises his role from the original film as the cigar store owner with the heart of gold. It could do with more of characters like Stockard Channing’s and Ashley Judd’s from the first film.