Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The King of Staten Island (2019)

Most of the movies we've been watching during lockdown have been either subtitled or the sort that in the past would have been dispatched down the path known as 'straight to DVD', so what a sense of relief (or indeed release) to finally stumble upon one that would have made it onto the big screen had 2020 not been 2020. 

Judd Appatow directs (and co-scripts) another comedy of a life in crisis, this time with a solidly mature sensibility. 

This crisis in question is something of a 'what if?' extrapolated from the real world biography of the film's star Pete Davidson, who lost his fireman father on 9-11. 

Maybe current circumstances inclined me to like this movie more than I otherwise might have, but I REALLY liked it. It is well written, genuinely funny, undoubtedly touching and quite extraordinarily well cast. 

Davidson is at the core of what makes it work, but there are great contributions from Marisa Tomei and Bill Burr, and Bel Powley is simply outstanding. 

The in-depth quality of both direction and performance is perhaps best encapsulated by Ricky Velez, who places his character Oscar so perfectly and comically on the line between sinister local sociopath and sad small-town loser.

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