Combustible Celluloid
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With: Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon, Callie Thorne, Kevin Corrigan, Richard Short, Elvis Costello, Tom Aldredge
Written by: Tom DiCillo
Directed by: Tom DiCillo
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 107
Date: 09/26/2006

Delirious (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Photo Diminish

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In 1995, director Tom DiCillo made Living in Oblivion with Steve Buscemi as a hapless indie filmmaker seemingly unaware of the ridiculousness of his pet project. Now the two re-team for a similar, less funny, but even more affecting movie, given the far more desperate circumstances surrounding a paparazzi. While waiting for a pop singer, K'Harma (Alison Lohman), photographer Les Galantine (Buscemi) bumps into a homeless kid, Toby (Michael Pitt), who becomes Les' unpaid assistant. But the handsome Toby falls in love with K'Harma and catches the eye of a casting director (Gina Gershon). The story arc is fairly routine, and the beginning and ending are problematic, but DiCillo's spot-on writing -- and the exceptional performances by Buscemi and Pitt -- creates a touching and vivid friendship that stabilizes the film and makes it work. A scene at Les' parents house could have been amateurish psychological hogwash (his parents don't give him the affirmation he needs), but the scene plays out with skill and emotional depth; it's actually quite moving. If only DiCillo could have cooked up a better title, and likewise dumped the lazy, hand-held camera and montage sequences. The always-welcome Kevin Corrigan plays a fellow photographer, and Elvis Costello appears as himself. (Note: the word "paparazzi" actually originated in a movie, Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita.)

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