PSH BLOGATHON cnt’d – GOD’S POCKET [2014]

This is my entry into my own blogathon, a brief summary of PSH’s performance in God’s Pocket, as well as a link to a late entry by Dell at dellonmovies

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Quad_Gods_Pocket-1024x768Directed by John Slattery, Written by Peter Dexter (novel), Alex Metcalf (screenplay), John Slattery (screenplay)

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro

This was the last completed film by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. It isn’t glitzy or glamorous, in fact its the opposite of those things. With washed out colours and a look of the 70’s, this film is a perfect example of the variety of films that Hoffman was willing to work on; almost the polar opposite to something like the Hunger Games franchise.

You could say that not much happens in this film, though the thin plot was more than enough for this viewer. There isn’t much action, and additionally the film is hard to pinpoint regarding genre. It serves mainly as a summary of a close-knit community, and the experiences of a man who has seemingly worked hard to fit in. However, if i were to label it anything it’d be a subtle black comedy, as there are some classic lines within the dark plot, perhaps the best one being a story about a horse who couldn’t finish a race because she was sucking in air, “y’know, vaginally”. This and other amusing lines are almost always uttered in a deadpan fashion, and it lightens up a pretty bleak film. It is not a film for everyone, which would probably explain the mixed reaction it received.

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Hoffman plays a run-down looking Mickey, who has managed to become a part of the close-knit community that is ‘God’s Pocket’, where working class people live out their lives in a simple yet happy way. They don’t have much tolerance for those not from the area, but they have accepted Mickey, who has married a woman local to the area. He once again truly inhabits his character here, a man who has worked to become accepted within the working class people of God’s Pocket. Hoffman plays this role perfectly, as Mickey is never 100% comfortable around the people he comes across and this is apparent in how Hoffman plays the character. His subtle performance is typical of his work; excellent yet restrained, and it fits the dark tone of the film perfectly.

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The son of the woman he married – Jeanie – is killed at the workplace very early into the film, but the tight-nit community refuses to tell the story of what really happened. No one misses Leon except for his mother, and Mickey is forced to juggle both his wife on one hand, who thinks there is more to it than what the police are saying, and on the other he is struggling financially as he takes it upon himself to organise and pay for the funeral. To say it doesn’t go to plan would be an understatement, providing fodder for more laughs, if you are the sort of twisted person that I am.

The film features a great cast, especially John Turturro – who shares some great chemistry with Hoffman. Hoffman’s dedication to the role is obvious, typical of almost every performance of his fantastic career. This is especially apparent in one scene where he runs faster than I never imagined he was capable of!

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It is far from a perfect movie, but it is a neat black comedy featuring for the most part unlikeable characters played by a great cast. Unlikeable characters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so be mindful of that. But if what I have described sounds like your thing, I highlight recommend this flick, even if just for Hoffman’s final performance.

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Here is a link to Dell’s post, which is another review of Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, a great write-up that serves as a nice compliment to Cindy‘s review of the same title.

I again would like to extend my thanks to everyone who took part in this tribute to a great man.

He will forever be missed.

30 Comments on “PSH BLOGATHON cnt’d – GOD’S POCKET [2014]

  1. I have never even heard of this flick, but I love a good dark comedy. “You know vaginally”. I dont think I have heard a line uttered in a movie ever before.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jordan, great review! I haven’t seen this one. He seems able to carry off dark comedy better than most, doesn’t he? I like it when directors adjust the filter to make it fit the decade, like you have suggested here. I am going to have to rent this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its worth the watch. Hoffman is really convincing as the man struggling to make ends meet, and as a man who wasn’t born in God’s Pocket but has been somewhat accepted. And yeah, he does seem to be pretty apt at dark comedies.

      I’d definitely recommend this to any fans of dark comedy! And hell, its Hoffman’s last film he ever completed!

      Thanks for commenting Cindy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember this one coming out – the local newspaper review guy didn’t like it too much but Ill still give it a look some time : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries mate. Yeah quirky is a good way to describe it. not your average film, but well worth a watch. Hoffman and Turturro are fantastic

      Like

  4. Nice that you picked a lesser-known film from PSH, Jordan. This has a Coens vibe for some reason, esp w/ Turturro in the cast. I’ll give it a shot just for PSH though, sounds pretty good!

    Like

    • Yeah it does have a Coens vibe, especially with the casual dark humour. Well worth a watch. Turturro is great alongside Hoffman.

      Highly recommended 🙂

      Like

  5. A great review man, I’ve always been curious about God’s Pocket but a stream of negative reviews put me off. I trust your opinion so I’ll try to track this one down soon. After all, it can’t be terrible with the great PSH in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He does a great job mate, Turturro is great too (and having fun like you alluded to in a post a while back).

      Its not a happy film but some of the lines are bloody funny. And its also a great study of a tight community who aren’t very accepting of outsiders.

      Ignore the negative reviews mate, you won’t regret seeing PSH’s last ever finished film

      Liked by 1 person

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