Some have called this film a Tarentino-esque celluloid tribute- which , though flattering; is off the mark.
James Demonaco is a director to watch out for , certainly, but his inspirations seem to be more European in influence. With his wonderful eye for the banal and trivial that encompass and capture the local Staten Island characterizations, make this film more like Amelie from the French director, Jean Pierre Jeunet, albeit , slightly more gory. A mysterious storyline keeps the interest and never spoon-feeds the audience with captions to alert you to the time-frame;the director expects your full attention.
D'Onofrio makes a sinister yet, clown-like mobster, with decently acted supporting gangsters.A refreshing turn for Ethan hawke , playing a bit against type and one of his best performances to date.
The scene stealer was the marvelous veteran actor,Seymour Cassel, who plays the most heart-wrenching poignant character- (and a gold star for the casting director)- everything is captured in his expression and those wonderful eyes.I loved the dramatic close-ups Demonaco sprinkled throughout the piece as well as a brilliant editing job.
A thought provoking and well-crafted gem.