Los Angeles, CA—Former Chicago police, Area-6 Burglary dick Dennis Farina took on a great role and has knocked it out of the park. Farina has been a successful actor ever since he consulted with movie director Michael Mann on the film Thief. Farina got a bit part in the film and former Area-6 Robbery sergeant Chuck Adamson wound up a somewhat meatier role as a corrupt Chicago police sergeant (a big stretch-not!)
Adamson went on to be a screenwriter until he passed away a couple of years ago in Oregon where he retired.
Farina never forgot where he came from and still attends copper’s retirement parties and funerals.
I was lucky enough to see a screening of the film and have a chat with Farina after the film. At 68, Farina is still in rare form and seems ready to take on the world.
As for the film associated with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater it was a dream vehicle for Farina. The story was penned and directed by Joe Maggio. The film was shot in an incredible 19 days. Needless to say it was all Chicago through and through.
Farina’s character Joe May was an ageing small time hustler who returns from an extended Cook County Hospital stay after surviving a bout with pneumonia. May is a man with few friends and an estranged son. There are of course his acquaintances and a former partner who retired in an assisted living home.
May returns to his low rent apartment of 40 years, only to learn it was rented out to a young single mother, Jenny (Jamie Allman), and her adorable pre-teen daughter, Angelina (Meredith Droeger). May’s property was sent out to the trash by the land lord and he suddenly finds himself homeless and too proud to ask for help.
Jenny is involved in an abusive relationship with a control freak thug who just happens to be a cop and a collision course is set in motion.
May is in the struggle of his life to re-establish some kind of relevancy and to maintain his dignity. May’s search for work is aggravated by his age but he puts one foot in front of the other and moves forward. His search takes him to a sleazy and nasty underworld boss played by Gary Cole. Enough spoiling of the plot here so I will move on.
The real muscle of this film is that is about real people with real problems and emotions that must be faced. There are no special effects, expensive sets with the usual Hollywood eye candy. There is just a great script, wonderful actors that makes seeing this film compelling. It will make you want to be a little nicer to the Joe Mays in your life.
I don’t write reviews on films I don’t like. I love this film, cast and crew. Spend the money and see it in the theater. It’s definitely a date film so bring that special someone.