When Jim (Casey Affleck) fails to become a writer in New York he's forced to return to his childhood home in Indiana. But a simple life turns out to be complicated when he's forced to take up his injured brother's factory job. When he finds himself in love with local nurse, Anika, (Liv Tyler) he realises he'll have to make a choice - embrace an uncomplicated life in rural America or run away again to pursuit his dream in the urban jungle of New York.
Decent indie comedy-drama.
- Lonesome Jim review by Shatner's Bassoon
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When part-time dog walker and failed writer Jim runs out of money in New York he returns to his small Indiana hometown to stay with a family he doesn't particularly care for. After his brother drives into a tree and ends up in a coma Jim finds himself forced to work in his parents ladder factory, coaching his brothers kids basketball team, and after a drunken one night stand in a uneasy relationship with a local nurse named Anika and her young son. One thing that strikes you immediately when watching this film is the horrible grainy and fuzzy picture quality, and for the whole film I assumed Director Steve Buscemi had either shot the movie on 16mm film or digital video as some form of artistic statement. It was only after watching the film that I discovered the poor picture was down to budget restraints. The film was originally given a $3 million budget by Universal studios, who then cancelled the film shortly before filming was due to start. Rather than let the film go to the wall or wait to secure another backer the producers secured a smaller $500,000 budget and director Steve Buscemi shot the film over 17 days on domestic digital video cameras. The result is a somewhat of strange experience, it's a film which has two big name leads in Liv Tyler and Casey Affleck, a recognisable supporting cast and the picture quality of a low budget 80's made for TV movie. It's a real shame Buscemi couldn't have made more of an effort in achieving a better quality picture, or even hand the project over to a director more capable working within the constraints of a small budget. The film itself is fairly decent, Liv Tyler plays more or less the same character she plays in every other movie she's in, the supporting cast were well above average especially Mary Kay Place as Jim's mother and Mark Boone Junior as his wayward uncle Evil, and Casey Affleck was surprisingly good as the slightly narcissistic and selfish Jim. Overall, while the story isn't that original and the picture quality is poor; 'Lonesome Jim' is an extremely watchable film, quite funny in places and helped immensely by the films engaging characters.