Thursday, 10 April 2008
first look presents romance & cigarettes
"Simultaneously poignant and outrageous. Raunchy and rude, yet sentimental and sincere" - Variety
James Gandolfini sings, Christopher Walken dances and Kate Winslet swears like a navvy in John Turturro's bawdy American musical extravaganza Romance & Cigarettes.
Ganodolfini plays Nick Murder, a New York labourer who's cheating on his wife Kitty (Susan Sarrandon) with lascivious trashtalking bombshell Tula, played by a feisty Kate Winslet. Blinded by his urges, Nick soon ends up facing a choice between flame or family, or risk losing them both.
Set in Queens, the working class accents are thick and the dialogue is sultry. The scarlet haired Winslet delivers some of the most humorously memorable dialogue of her career, while Nick's conversations with friend Angelo (Steve Buscemi) on the construction site are also entertainingly below the belt.
However Romance & Cigarettes is also an unexpectedly endearing film. Turturro's working-class opera benefits from its impressive musical elements and strong supporting cast; whether it's Winslet backed by a troupe of fire-fighters equipped with hoses or Christopher Walken busting moves with a chorus line of truncheon wielding policemen, the cast are clearly having fun, ensuring that the audience surely will also.
Breathing humour and fresh life into renditions of popular songs from James Brown, Janis Joplin and Tom Jones amongst others, this "song-and-dance Sopranos" (New York Times) is a joyous ode to the finger-snappin' musicals of old, an "ode to the sensual pulse of life in a working class neighbourhood".
Romance & Cigarettes will premiere in Australia at ACMI Cinemas May 8 - 11.
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