Within the first 10 minutes of Lonesome Jim, we understand the major players: Jim (Casey Affleck), a hollow twentysomething returning home to Indiana after a stint in New York; Tim (Kevin Corrigan), his divorced and depressed brother; Sally (Mary Kay Place), their relentlessly optimistic mother; and Don (Seymour Cassel), their insensitive father. The film takes its time in telling us why Jim has returned, but it makes quick work of showing us what greets him when he arrives: dysfunction. Jim is exactly the kind of film you would expect from director Steve Buscemi, the beloved, bug-eyed weirdo who has graced so many indie treasures. Bleak, minimal, bone-dry, and hilarious, it creates a rich world from deft strokes of dialogue and action. There isn't a whiff of false sentiment, nor an extra word or phrase. Instead, we get a deep knowingness, a keen intelligence, and an exhilarating trust in the audience. No doubt these gifts come directly from Buscemi and his writer, James C. Strouse, who has a way with silence.
Director: Steve Buscemi
Writer: James C. Strouse
Producer: Galt Niederhoffer, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Jake Abraham and Gary Winick
Cast: Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, Seymour Cassel, Kevin Corrigan, Jack Rovello, Rachel Strouse, Sarah Strouse and Mark Boone Jr.