Barfly (1987)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 1987.  , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Barbet Schroeder.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Eva .  

Faye Dunaway makes a brilliant post-Mommie Dearest comeback with this searing look at two alcoholics (the other being Mickey Rourke) who have nothing but each other and a bottle. The script by Charles Bukowski is based on his own experiences, and in his role we watch Rourke spend time in bars with ultra-low lives (the old prostitute who doles out oral sex for twenty bucks in the bathroom being a particularly scary one), and spend his nights with Dunaway.  Rourke enjoys his life on the seamy side, resisting offers by to have the stories he writes published regularly for money:  he doesn’t want to give up his freedom for one that he’ll live in a “cage with golden bars”. No one shows us the unsavoury like Barbet Schroeder, and here he gives us a film that is never enjoyable but quite admirable.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Actress-Drama (Faye Dunaway)


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