Factotum (2005)

Mitchell, 9. March 2007, 0:07

(Matt Dillon, with Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei, directed by Brent Hamer)

This is really Matt Dillon as Charles Bukowski, ‘though Dillon plays Henry Chinaski, Bukowski’s fictional alter-ego. It’s a short film (94 minutes) but plays a lot longer, which isn’t bad in this case.

There’s really no story; instead, we get episodes of Chinaski’s life, going from job to job (seldom does he keep a job more than one day) and woman to woman, all the time writing and writing and writing.

I’ve read a little of Bukowski’s work, and what I remember is that you’re in it for the ride, not for the big finish, and that’s what this film is like. If Bukowski (I mean Chinaski) appeals to you, you’ll enjoy the episodes and possibly the entire film, as long as you don’t really expect any kind of character growth or plot development, and certainly no resolution (there’s no conflict, really, to resolve).

The voice-overs are great; Dillon does a fine job of reading Bukowski’s words, and the sort of somber, whiskey-infused, whatever-happens attitude he carries throughout the movie is spot-on.

I give it a strong 7 out of 10. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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