Factotum

Film
DRUNK-PUNCH LOVE Tomei and Dillon bond over booze.
DRUNK-PUNCH LOVE Tomei and Dillon bond over booze.

Time Out says

In a perfect world, would-be writer Hank Chinaski (Dillon) would pick up checks for being a full-time drunk, the one occupation he has mastered beyond a doubt. Alas, jugged wine and rotgut rye don’t pay for themselves, which means that Chinaski occasionally has to punch the clock. Except that working in a pickle factory and cleaning statues down at City Hall cut into his boozing time. So he shuffles from one dead-end job to the next, counting the hours until his next three-day bender.

Of all the films that have adapted the works of Charles Bukowski, the Black Sparrow Press superstar and patron saint of barflies, Factotum is arguably the first to capture the cult figure’s confessional humor. Deadpan doesn’t quite describe the tone; from the way Norwegian director Bent Hamer (Kitchen Stories) and Dillon savor each display of the author’s dry-vermouth wit, you’d think the jokes were being delivered in a hearse. Like its hero, the film has no forward momentum and just stumbles from one sad-sack vignette to the next, lost in its own hungover haze. But the po-faced absurdism is a fine match for Bukowski’s prose, distilling the whimsy without losing the author’s gutter poetry. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — David Fear

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