Smoke (1995)

“Slow down, huh?” – Paul Benjamin

“That’s what I recommend. You know how it is. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Time creeps in its petty pace.” – Auggie Wren

Number of Times Seen – At least twice (Cable in the 90’s and 7 Jul 2021)

Brief Synopsis – The lives of various customers and employees at a local smoke shop intertwine on a daily basis.

My Take on it – As a teenager, a friend got me interested in stories by Paul Auster and when I heard about this film, I was quite interested in seeing what it was all about.

After more than twenty years, I didn’t recall anymore anything about the specific stories of the characters and only remembered that it starred Harvey Keitel as the smoke shop proprietor.

The film does an amazing job developing these characters in ways that make them truly come to life.

The way that they adeptly take numerous storylines and find ways to weave them together is great because of the way that it all plays out.

The story is also able to stay quite powerful and poignant along the way due to the choice to make this feel very intimate and personal from start to finish.

The cast besides Keitel is also superb with William Hurt, Forrest Whitaker, Giancarlo Esposito, Harold Perrineau, Stockard Channing and Ashley Judd all help to make things feel so much more plausible in the way it all plays out.

Love the storytelling aspect of this film and the choice to tell a story and then visualize it afterwards is quite clever.

Highly Recommended!

Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Most of the telling of Auggie’s Christmas story, from when he goes to the projects to the end of the story, is one unbroken five-minute shot. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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