Rolling Stone - 04/06/2006 3 stars out of 4 -- "Buscemi does not act in LONESOME JIM, but his sly humor and keen eye for nuance resonate in every frame."
Total Film - 05/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "[D]ark laughs and a good dose of truth make LONESOME curiously riveting, aided by Affleck's hangdog charisma..."
Uncut - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "Affectingly romantic in the most wistful sense."
Empire - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "Buscemi draws dark humour from each dour situation..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2008
"Here, as in other films, Buscemi shows an eye for the unsympathetic....A self-declared disciple of Cassavetes, Buscemi follows his appreciation of roughness in character and emotion..."
With LONESOME JIM, director Steve Buscemi delivers another low-budget gem about small-town American life. Boasting a fresh script courtesy of James C. Strouse, the film begins when 27-year-old Jim (Casey Affleck) returns to his small Indiana town after having failed to make a dent as a writer in New York City. Depressed beyond comprehension, Jim must contend with his actively suicidal brother (Kevin Corrigan), insane mother (Mary Kay Place), and dangerously clueless uncle (Mark Boone Junior). Along the way, he meets a too-good-to-be-true nurse, Anika (Liv Tyler), and begins coaching his niece's hapless basketball squad. As time passes, the fog threatens to hang around forever, making Jim wonder if returning home might have been the worst mistake of all.
Hilarious in its honesty, tender in its performances, and compassionate in its direction, LONESOME JIM is an example of superior independent filmmaking. Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler deliver especially wonderful performances, giving three-dimensional depth to characters that could potentially have come off as one-note clichés. One can only hope that audiences will see through the low-budget production values and embrace the film's universal themes.
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