Title: God’s Pocket

Director: John Slattery

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, and Richard Jenkins. 

Actor John Slattery makes his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the Pete Dexter novel ‘God’s Pocket.’ The story centres on a small-town man, Mickey (Philip Seymour Hoffman) – married to the beautiful Jeannie  (Christina Hendricks) – who tries to hide the fact he’s responsible for the death of his stepson at a construction site. As the lies mount, he finds himself in much deeper trouble than he ever imagined.

Alas, how morbid it is to see Philip Seymour Hoffman playing with death! The greatest actor of our time, was found dead February 2nd 2014, on the bathroom floor of his New York apartment with a syringe in his left arm; and here he’s back on the silver screen handling a corpse with dark humour.

‘God’s Pocket’ is the last movie Philip Seymour Hoffman’s presented to the Sundance Film Festival; when he spoke to several reporters explaining that what attracted him to his role was that he would be playing a man in a stage of awakening from some of the choices he had made in life. “He’s dealing with issues that have to do with being middle-aged. He realises that some choices he made along the way, you have to shift or change or you just kind of stay in the dark and go from there,” said Hoffman unaware that his choices would have confined him to darkness forever.

But, besides the macabre feeling aroused by this unlucky coincidence, the film isn’t gripping for a number of reasons. The main trait that makes this flick dull is that Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, and Richard Jenkins are brilliant actors wasted in a gallery of underdeveloped characters, stranded in a messy jumbled arraignment of provincial American life.

Hence, John Slattery – mostly known for interpreting Roger Sterling in the television series ‘Mad Men’ – makes a vacillating transition from acting to directing, with this dreary and spiritless black comedy.

Technical: B-

Acting: A

Story: C

Overall: C+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Gods Pocket Movie

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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