Sunday, May 1, 2016

895. Smoke

Directed by Paul Auster and Wayne Wang

Paul Auster is heavily featured on the 1001 Book List; I think six of his novels were chosen (whereas Balzac only has three, which is strange to me).  So far I have only read Mr. Vertigo, which was wonderfully weird.  I was actually surprised by how normal this film turned out to be.  Surprised and a little disappointed.

Basically, the film follows the stories of several different characters who are loosely connected by a Brooklyn smoke shop.  This seems to be a style that was used a lot in the nineties, although at least this film kept it under two hours.  I suppose the initiating event is when a homeless teenager saves an author from being hit by a car.

Sorry for another vague description.  A few of the plot lines could be wrapped up in a sentence, so I wanted to avoid going into too much detail and ruining the very few twists.  I actually found this film to be incredibly predictable, which was rather unfortunate, although I suppose this is a movie you watch for the dialogue, not the plot.  I could definitely tell a novelist had written the dialogue, as it was sometimes a bit too odd to sound realistic.

But I am being a bit too harsh.  The film features some great actors, including Forest Whitaker, Ashley Judd, Harvey Keitel, Stockard Channing, and William Hurt.  It was well paced and overall worth a watch, but I am afraid it didn't leave much of an impression.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Forest Whitaker is only two years older than Harold Perrineau, who plays his son.


  1. Regrettably I find I cannot remember many details of this one, but I have a great feeling that I really enjoyed it at the time ... One of those quite, low event, talking movies about people .. different and differing characters interacting with each other .. Almost like a Woody Allen film I guess.
    I was interested to read that Paul Auster is a well known writer and scoops 6 highly prized spots in the book list. I'm ashamed to say I've not heard of him..

    1. This is kind of unrelated but how many 1001 books do you think you have read? Or do you have no idea?

  2. I have been avoiding doing so, fearing I will score a lot less than I'd like to...

  3. I know, I always think I am farther along than I am. I have an app on my phone that keeps track and I am at 272.