Chicago Intnernational Film Festival: The Last Rites of Joe May

For out of towners, Chicago may not seem like much of a film city (Batman and Superman beg to differ). But really, there’s no easier city to film in… at least physically filming. Don’t get my ass started on permits and shit.

Anyway, opening the festival tonight is The Last Rites of Joe May, staring Law and Order’s Dennis Farina (a Chicago native) as an aging small time crook who comes out of a long stay in the hospital to find his entire life has been basically taken from him. All his stuff gone.

He eventually ends up sharing an apartment with the unit’s new owner, a woman named Jenny (Jamie Anne Allman) and her daughter.

This is where the movie begins to falter a bit.

Enter abusive boyfriend. You know where this is going.

Not that there’s anything truly wrong with this. There are just stronger, more original ways this story could have gone. Nonetheless, lots of strong performances going on here, mostly on Dennis’ part.

Although it reaches a VERY obvious conclusion, I wasn’t at all disappointed in the film at all. It did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Is it a good movie? Yes. Is it opening night good? I dunno, depends on what you’re into. That said, it’s always good to have things film in Chicago. But this is really an article for another day. But I’m sure you know what I’m thinking.

Check it out On Demand later this month.

B+

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