A who’s who of independent movie stars encapsulates this terrific ensemble piece from director Peter Mattei. Names like Steve Buscemi, Rosario Dawson, Michæl Imperioli, Carol Kane and Jill Hennessy shroud this tale of a series of “happenings” revolving from locale to locale, with a single character connecting each. The film proceeds to tell the story of nine individuals all drawn out with depth and feeling.
The opus begins with a simple prostitute on a street corner. She meets a contractor who later gets together with an unhappy house wife. Her husband is next, then the artist with whom he is attracted. The artist runs into the receptionist at his art gallery and the receptionist’s boyfriend furthers the chain. Then his newly found lover joins the gang followed by her phone sex/office worker. After he rings in all is returned, safely, back to the same prostitute on the street corner. While this may sound confusing, upon viewing it could not be more clear and satisfying.
Every little story is fully developed and superbly portrayed. A few notable standouts would be Buscemi (the artist), Rosario Dawson (the receptionist) and Imperioli (phone sex/office guy). Director Mattei succeeds in bringing the audience on a full circle ride through the streets and homes of New York city and along the way gives the viewer an unexpectedly interesting set of stories. It is a great character study that ranks with Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic Magnolia.