Romance & Cigarettes (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Energetic, colourful and occasionally just downright weird, this has Future Cult Movie written all over it.

What’s it all about?
Directed by John Turturro (who apparently came up with the idea whilst sitting at his typewriter during Barton Fink), Romance & Cigarettes stars James Tony Soprano Gandolfini as Nick Murder. Nick is a metalworker torn between his feisty redheaded wife Kitty (Susan Sarandon) and his fiery redheaded mistress Tula (Kate Winslet).

The Good
Romance & Cigarettes is a musical in the Dennis Potter sense, meaning that the characters keep bursting into song (some lip-synching, some actually singing) or performing snazzy dance routines. The performances are terrific - Gandolfini displays hitherto unsuspected talents and there’s typically fancy footwork from Christopher Walken, as Kitty’s decidedly weird cousin Bo.

However, the show is comprehensively stolen by Kate Winslet, who gives a ferociously sexy, deliciously foul-mouthed performance as Tula, complete with an accent that’s straight out of Coronation Street. The script crackles with sharply-written dialogue and it’s also surprisingly moving in places. The characters deliver thoughtful meditations on such subjects as love, death, fidelity and smoking.

The Bad
If anything, the film is slightly too long, meaning that it runs out of steam towards the end. Similarly, it’s the sort of film that’s likely to provoke wildly different reactions and if you’re not hooked from the outset, you may find the whole exercise rather tedious.

Worth seeing?
In short, Romance & Cigarettes is an impressively directed, frequently outrageous film that’s sure to find a good home among fans of cult movies. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Romance & Cigarettes (15)
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 19:07

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