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man, even the grass is gray around here...


Paul Dano, Brian Cox, Isild Le Besco

Jacques: Lucas!  Never remove an empty glass.  It is the customer’s history and a track record of his state of mind.  An important documentation which should not be fixed nor falsified.

Lucas (Dano) is a homeless man who has just attempted suicide.  In the hospital, he meets Jacques (Cox), an old, angry, antisocial bar owner who has just suffered a heart attack.  Jacques takes a liking to Lucas and decides to train him to run the bar so that it will be in good hands when Jacques is gone.

It may be a bit dark, anger-filled, and depressing, but this one also has a touching side to it.

The first thing I noticed was the look of the movie.  It’s very gray, washed out, and contrasted.  There aren’t a lot of vibrant colors.  Both of these lead characters, and the patrons of the bar to an extent, have been beat down and worn out by life, and the look of the movie creates a bit of that feeling in the viewer.  It’s certainly not my favorite sort of thing to watch, but it does add to the atmosphere the movie is going for.

Paul Dano and Brian Cox are both very good in their respective roles, but I think Dano is being type cast too much in these quiet, meek parts.  He eventually shows a little bit of emotion, but it still seems like he’s playing the exact same character that he did in Gigantic.  I probably don’t even need to talk about Brian Cox much.  The guy can go from menacing to sympathetic in the blink of an eye.  Total pro.

This isn’t the most original story line in the world, and there are definitely some predictable plot turns, but the characters and performances elevate it, as does some amusing dialogue.  Also, the introduction of April (Le Besco) into the story stirs things up well.  She’s a flight attendant who was fired, I’m assuming after her first flight, because she was afraid of flying.  Now she’s in a strange city with nowhere to go and happens to stumble into the bar and meets Lucas.  In Jacques mind, a bar is no place for a woman.  There will be friction…

Don’t go chasing escaped ducks…

10 – .7 because the grim look of the movie just isn’t very appealing to me – 1 for being a bit too predictable – .7 because it gets bogged down from time to time with repetitive scenes = 7.6