Trees Lounge

"Very Good"

Trees Lounge Review


Get this tagline for Trees Lounge: "A story about one man's search... for who knows what." That could describe quite well writer/director/star Steve Buscemi during his creation of this film, a quirky and melodramatic tragicomedy about... who knows what.

Buscemi plays Tommy, a regular guy in Long Island whose life is basically a series of alcoholic binges, sprinkled with failed love affairs, cheap drugs, and terminal unemployment. A parade of supporting characters (all played by Buscemi's personal friends) run in and out of his life, and everyone tries to make some sense of it all.

The Trees Lounge is the unfortunately-named bar where Tommy spends virtually all of his time. It's the kind of joint where a guy can walk into one night and come back out 20 years later, wondering where his life went. It's the kind of place you can almost smell -- or maybe that was just the movie theater's goo-encrusted floor.

I get the feeling that Trees Lounge is the movie that all filmmakers are secretly dying to make -- a personal portrait of simple life, nothing but depression all the way. The reason this kind of movie doesn't get made more often is because (1) no studio in their right mind would let someone do such a thing [case in point: Trees Lounge is being released by the only-recently-out-of-bankruptcy Orion Pictures], and (2) when you get down to brass tacks, not many people really want to make a movie about someone that's more pathetic than they are.

Still, I've got to admire Buscemi for doing it anyway. Buscemi has complained in interviews about having trouble writing the script for Trees Lounge, and it shows, but at least he doesn't let the self-pity get too thick, applying liberal doses of comedy to counter the tragic underscore of the film. Overall, he ends up with a picture that isn't half bad, but which just doesn't make for a light matinee and certainly isn't "fun for the whole family."

As a director, Buscemi isn't awful, but he isn't great. As far as his casting choices, they're fine, except for his breaking of the cardinal rule that Daniel Baldwin should never be allowed to be in a movie. Chloe Sevigny (Kids) is a fun Lolita, and minor roles like Bronson Dudley's eternal barfly are a scream, and they really show Buscemi's knack for comedy. Let's hope he explores this a little more in his next offering.

P.S. Be sure to watch for the cameo by the faux-Reservoir Dogs (it's in the first five minutes).

The glass is more than just half empty in Trees Lounge.



Trees Lounge

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th October 1996

Distributed by: Live Home Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tommy, as Debbie, as Connie, as Mike, as Bill, as Rob, as Raymond, as Theresa, as Stan, Samuel L. Jackson as Wendell

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.