Smiling Fish And Goat On Fire (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

Alternate title:  Goat On Fire And Smiling Fish

USA, 1999.  One Sock Productions, Parabellum Productions, Red Horse Films, Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire LLC.  Story by Kevin Jordan, , , Screenplay by Derick Martini, Steven Martini.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , ,.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Two brothers (real-life siblings  and ) living in California are as opposite as brothers can be: Chris is an intensely uptight and concerned accountant, while his younger brother Tony is a free-spirited, struggling actor. Their differing personalities inspired their half-Native grandmother to give them the nicknames of the title when they were children, and since their parents died in a car accident in their younger years they have pretty much been on their own. Now their lives are at a standstill while they deal with dysfunctional love lives and their possibly estranged relationship with each other. That is, until two new women come into their lives:  Chris meets a sexy Italian animal wrangler, and Tony finds romance with his mail delivery woman. All the usual elements of low-budget independent films are here, from low-key production values to naturalistic photography and sound recording, all of them serving the simple and insightful, charming story with strength. The screenplay, co-written by the Martini brothers and director Kevin Jordan, is excellent, as is all the acting involved.

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999

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