"God's Pocket" Movie Review: 1 1/2 Stars
by Betsy Sharkey
If, like me, you were hoping that "God's Pocket," starring the late
But Hoffman struggles.
You can see it on screen, from the down-turned mouth that keeps being forgotten, to the voice that sounds colored by congestion instead of Mickey's downtrodden life.
It is a particular pity, given both the sadness of Hoffman's death from a drug overdose and the creative force that was also lost as a result.
Slattery, best known these days as
The story unfolds over a few difficult days in Mickey's already difficult life. His wife,
There are a couple of ways to play this, light or dark the most obvious ones. But no clear choice is forthcoming, and Hoffman moves through both darker and lighter moments with leaden feet. When Leon's body is dumped in a back alley, then loaded into Mickey's meat truck after he comes up short of cash for the funeral, we see neither humor nor pathos in Mickey's predicament.
Dexter, a former
Jenkins slips smoothly into the role of alcohol-saturated journalistic Lothario wooing the bereaved mom. Hendricks is barely recognizable, trading her "Mad Men" red hair and brass for long dark curls and soft floral print dresses. The way Shellburn and Jeanie commingle lust and need gives the film its very few shining moments.
Mickey is left to deal with the messes of others. His journey, which should bring "God's" redemption, is the frustration.
Slattery gets some things right -- like the look -- with veteran cinematographer
But the plot is underdeveloped, and the pacing is disconcertingly off.
"God's Pocket" is unruly and in desperate need of a firmer hand to rein it in.
As for Hoffman, if you are missing his indelible presence on screen, watch "Capote," the role that won him an Oscar in 2006, or the films that earned him a nomination: "The Master," "Doubt" and "
MPAA rating: R (for violence, language throughout and sexual content). Running time: 1:28.
"God's Pocket" Movie Trailer
In the gritty, blue-collar neighborhood of God's Pocket, Mickey Scarpato's crazy stepson, Leon, is killed in a construction "accident," and Mickey quickly tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when a local columnist comes sniffing around for the truth, things go from bad to worse. Mickey finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle compounded by a body he can't bury, a wife he can't please, and a debt he can't pay
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'God's Pocket' Movie Review & Movie Trailer