I used to hate Vincent Gallo. Embarassed though I am to admit it, this is a near-brilliant movie. Writer/Director/Star Gallo proves himself as an artist (just ask him) and creates one of the most engrossing films of the year. Christina Ricci is far better here than anything else she’s appeared in this year. If only Gallo, the anti-Buschemi, weren’t in it, I’d be happy. His ego occasionally intrudes on the film, as he indicates early in the film how HETEROsexual he is, and how LARGE his penis is.
“Buffalo ’66” is the story of Billy Brown on the day he gets out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit but confessed to. His first call is to his sociopathic parents. Mom (Anjelica Huston), a massive Buffalo Bills fan, has held a grudge against Billy for being born during the only Bills game where they won a championship. Dad (Ben Gazarra) is a violent wannabe-singer who displays nothing but contempt (for everybody). Billy never told his parents he was going to jail, just going away. Along the way to his parents’ house, he kidnaps tap dancer Layla (Ricci) to pose as his loving wife. Hilarity ensues.
This is not going to be popular with the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. Gary,
Indiana appears full of hope, in comparison. Along the way, Gallo steps out of the narrative to reveal everyone’s personal fantasies. At those times, Gallo transcends the medium in a manner I only associate with David Lynch. It’s brilliantly spooky.
Partially autobiographical, Gallo’s character must learn how to love and be loved. Now if only Gallo himself were less annoying, maybe we could love him.