Simple Men

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

It begins, startlingly, in mid-robbery. Within minutes, Bill McCabe (Burke) has been deserted by his partners in crime, learned that his imprisoned father - sporting hero or political terrorist? - has vanished, and set off for Long Island with his bookish brother (Sage) in search of dad. So starts a series of speedy adventures in which the brothers come to understand not only each other, but - after a mysterious, maybe perilous encounter with Sillas, Löwensohn and Donovan - themselves too. There's so much to enjoy in Hartley's quizzical account of the ups-and-downs of being young, serious and footloose in upstate New York. It looks great, with saturated colours and sharp medium shots complementing the laconically stylised axioms and ironies of Hartley's droll dialogue. The story contains more than enough twists and digressions to fuel a film twice its length; the actors are admirably in tune with the director's quirky sense of characterisation; and he himself never yields to the temptation of weirdness for weirdness' sake. Most impressive, perhaps, is that the formal audacity and inventiveness are topped off with such sparkling wit.

By: GA


Release details

105 mins

Cast and crew

Hal Hartley
Hal Hartley
Marietta Marich
Joe Stevens
Elina Löwensohn
Mark Chandler Bailey
Karen Sillas
Martin Donovan
William Sage
Robert Burke
John Alexander MacKay
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