The ghost of Robert Altman haunts this slight, occasionally amusing slice of life from writer/director Andrzej Krakowski.
The narrative opens as Josh (David Moscow), a slick Hollywood talent agent, arrives in a small Guatemala town in an attempt to track down Jack Palladin (Ben Gazzara), a two-time Oscar-winning actor who long ago shunned the spotlight in favor of the laid-back, sun-baked pleasures of his adopted home country. Clad in a powder-blue suit and faux Gucci loafers, slicked-back hair framing his perpetually snide facial expressions, Josh is prepared to offer Palladin $1 million for a cameo role in a remake of one of the actor’s old films.
He’s also presented as a cliched Hollywood asshole — exactly the kind of guy that probably led Palladin, who now works as a cook in a small restaurant, to flee the fast lane.
If the first half of the movie is marked by an easy-going Altman-esque vibe — the Guatemalan locals and locales are the most compelling characters in the movie — once Josh locates Palladin the tone shifts into melodramatic mode via an unforeseen plot turn.
The most curious aspect of this tonally disjointed indie is Gazzara, a once domineering screen presence whose world-weary visage and gravely voice are now so ripe as to yield unexpected sympathy. Grade: C-plus
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