For Reel

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
June 8, 2011, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Just when you think that you’ve had enough of Coffee and Cigarettes, a single vignette momentarily turns things around. The best example is the sequence involving Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, which is undoubtedly the most fully realized and humorous short of the bunch. Though the film involves some inspired pairings – Bill Murray, RZA, and GZA stand out – rarely do the actors have a whole lot to do, and one has to think most of the sequences would have been significantly more interesting had they been unscripted. In pairing together iconic figures like Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, Jarmusch constrains their personalities by forcing them to engage in banal small talk. Perhaps this is precisely what his ambition is, but, in failing to consciously utilize the personas of the stars (despite the fact that the audience never separates the figures from their celebrity), it further establishes that the entire conceit is little more than stunt casting.

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