On the Big Board
|I just don't know what to do with this movie. I kind of hate it, but I really like Sam Rockwell in it.
|The most difficult movie to judge this year, parts of Choke are sublime (a barn scene toward the end in particular) while others (the craigslist ad) are cringe-inducing. I don't -think- I liked it.
|A letdown, mostly because of Kelly Macdonald's cue-card delivery.
“A sex-addicted con-man pays for his mother's hospital bills by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him from choking to death.” That is the plot description of Choke, from the Web site IMDb.com. If it sounds to you like the type of movie that gives marketing teams nightmares, then you’re probably right.
Choke is adapted from the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, a writer with a cultish following, most famous for Fight Club. Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Matchstick Men) stars as Victor Mancini, the aforementioned sex addict. Anjelica Huston is his ill mother, and Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men) also co-stars as a doctor as Ms. Mancini’s hospital. Clark Gregg, beloved by BOP for his portrayal of Calvin Trager on Sports Night, wrote the screenplay and also directed the picture, his feature debut.
The low budget comedy-drama was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where it was scooped up by Fox Searchlight. Fight Club has become one of the most popular movies from the 1990s. That’s unlikely to happen with Choke, but the quirky nature of the story hints that, if it’s as good as possible, it might have vibe similar to that of such oddball classics as Being There (a great Peter Sellers movie, in case you’ve never seen it) or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (Michael Bentley/BOP)