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Milkwaukee, Minnesota (R)

Release Date: June 3rd (NYC-Angelika Film Center), by Tartan Films.
The Cast: Troy Garity, Allison Folland, Bruce Dern, Randy Quaid.

BASIC PREMISE: A mentally-challenged young man left alone after his mother dies is conned by two people who are after his inheritance.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Troy Garity is very convincing as the mentally-challenged young man who leads a very tragic, lonely life. Bruce Dern also gives a wonderful performance. However, everyone else, including Allison Folland and Randy Quaid, are simply mediocre in their performances--especially Quaid, who is miscast here. The script is very well-written because it brings out the human qualities in its characters. It also makes them likeable and memorable because of their quirkiness. However, it could have had more comedy to balance the drama--otherwise, it's too serious. The plot itself is occasionally predictable and redundant, but it unfolds gradually with a few surprises. None of these surprises are pleasant, though, but they manage to generate a little suspense. The musical score keeps the off-beat, quirky tone of the film. The cinematography is pretty good, especially the final scene which looks like a painting. It lasts two minutes but it stays in your memory for a much longer duration.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: There is not much new to learn from this film except that some people can be selfish and greedy. Also, another old, over-used message is that you have to be careful of who you trust. The ending is not particularly uplifting, but it does make you think--especially since you do end up caring about the main character.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Too slow at times and predictable.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A slow-paced film with a mixture of good and mediocre acting, beautiful cinematography, and a well-written script that could have used some more comedy. A rewarding experience for patient movie-goers.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Those with patience: Movie Theater (1st Run) Everyone else: VHS/DVD

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