God's Pocket (R) 86 mins B
A South Philly Tale
Starring John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, Caleb Landry Jones
God's Pocket is based on Pete Dexter's first novel (of the same name) published in 1983. The film is written and directed by John Slattery and Alex Metcalf. It features two of my favorite actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Richard Jenkins, as well as a voluptuously captivating Christina Hendricks. This gritty drama, sprinkled with dark humor, is set in a rough South Philly neighborhood circa 1978 and centers around Mickey Scarpato (Hoffman). Mickey is a blue collar, hard luck, second tier criminal who is struggling to keep his money right and his wife satisfied. When his maladjusted stepson is "accidentally" killed on a construction site, life gets considerably more complicated for Mickey.
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I enjoy a gritty drama with dark humor. This film is not necessarily the best example, because it feels a little watered down. Nevertheless, it is still highly intriguing and enjoyable. The performances are understated but effective. Fans of Hoffman's indie films won't be disappointed. Everyone else should proceed with caution (and/or wait for it on Netflix).