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By Chris Gore | April 19, 2000

Set in the forties, “Joe Gould’s Secret” is based on the friendship between writer Joseph Mitchell (Stanley Tucci) and Greenwich Village club regular Joe Gould (Ian Holm). Gould was a strange outsider who didn’t have a job and depended on friends’ contributions to “the Joe Gould Fund.” After Mitchell writes about him in The New Yorker, Gould becomes a celebrity.
Character actor Stanley Tucci has delivered a film that is sure to garner praise from the critical establishment, but I’m not a part of that group, so I’m sorry to tell you that this film just plain bores.
There are some bright spots, the cinematography is beautiful and it was interesting to see New York recreated in color in the 1940s. The acting is slow-paced and subtle but I can go to a park and watch nutcase homeless people babble if I want that kind of entertainment.
Uh, just so you know, based on a “True Story” does not always mean based on a “Good Story.” I love Stanley Tucci, but this film proves that just because a film is independent, doesn’t make it good.

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