Friday, January 9, 2015

God's Pocket Review

Just take a quick look at the cast of God's Pocket and it's difficult to believe it could be a bad film. The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro, occasionally it is a treat to watch actors act regardless of the material, and at times that concept was at play here as the film never really fails on any level. The problem is, it also never really succeeds. It just sort of exists, a work to be viewed once so that you can shrug your shoulders at the end, turn on something else and quickly forget about the entire experience.

The attempt at replicating a close knit, lower class, typically ignored community was admirable but was far better handled in a film like Gone Baby Gone where everything felt authentic. In God's Pocket it came across like actors playing roles, straining to portray stereotypes and as such I couldn't possibly connect to the plight of anyone involved.

Speaking of this plight, this film also lacked any sort of real stakes to hold onto, a person to root for or hell, even just a story to want to follow. Things just sort of happen meaninglessly, characters make decisions, bad things happen and never once did my pulse quicken nor did my interests get peaked.

I considered laying out the general plot of the film during this review, but honestly I just don't care to. Thinking about it makes me as apathetic as the movie itself felt towards establishing a meaningful narrative. It isn't a terrible film because there is too much talent on the screen lifting the material to the best of their abilities. No, it's actually worse than terrible because at least that would be in some way memorable. God's Pocket is a forgettable, painfully bland film, and it's a shame to see one of the final Philip Seymour Hoffman performances be wasted on the type of film that ends up in a bin of dirt cheap Blu-ray's years from now, pushed aside to make room for something capable of resonating.


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