The main virtue of screenwriter Franklin's debut as director is Pesci's portrayal of Weegee, the famous low-life tabloid photographer of urban disaster, lightly concealed as Bernstein, The Great Bernzini. Watching this isolated character in his nocturnal environment, cursing and kicking corpses into patterns for the shot, seeing the scene freeze into black-and-white for the famous photo - this is the heart of the film. When we track the uncouth artist to a publisher where his work is rejected again, leaving his ego undented, veterans may be reminded of the painter Gulley Jimson in The Horse's Mouth, with the swearing left in. Pesci is unstoppably on throughout. Both the tentative romance with nightclub-owner Kay Levitz (Hershey) - though finely played - and the plot, which concerns a government gas-rationing scandal, seem uneasily grafted on in an attempt to qualify for film noir, though Bernstein does get an incredible live action shot out of it. Good dialogue, nice period recreation, great performances.
Cast and crew