Staten Island – A Film Review

Tonight’s feature film was Staten Island, featuring Vincent D’Onofrio as the mobster, Ethan Hawke as the septic tank pumper (or what we call out here in the Dakotas – a honey pumper) and Seymour Cassell, who as the deaf-mute deli worker gave a rare gem of a performance.

This film is not for everyone. If the wood chipper scene in Fargo creeped you out, don’t watch this film. It has some of the same ambiance as Fargo, but much darker. Even so, the performances are out of this world. This film found its way onto my queue because my spouse wondered if Vincent D’Onofrio played as his characters like Goren in Law & Order: Criminal Intent – he doesn’t. While Tommy is a pretty quirky character, as is Goren, D’Onofrio gives Tommy the mobster his own  particular twist. Ethan Hawke gives a great performance as the septic tank pumper that wants a son more intelligent than himself and goes to extraordinary measures to achieve that for his wife, played by Julianne Nicholson, another Law & Order regular. But as I mentioned Seymour Cassell’s performance was outstanding – and he didn’t say a word.  He took “show – not tell” to a whole new level.

Personally, I prefer linear films. I get a little confused with there’s a lot of going back and forth in time and this film does flip back and forth in time. Nevertheless, it’s time well spent – great story, outstanding characters and super photography.


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