Directed by John Slattery
Written by Screenplay by Alex Metcalf and John Slattery, based on the novel by Pete Dexter
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Eddie Marsan, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro
A sparing script immerses the viewer in the working-class environ of God’s Pocket, allowing impeccable editing, whiplash choreography and top-notch silent acting to take centre stage.
It’s Hendricks who steals the show. Despite barely uttering a word she speaks volumes with every glance. Compositions work hard too; Jeannie (Hendricks) and husband Mickey (Hoffman) are so detached from one another they’re rarely in the same shot.
Scene-stealing minor characters stop just short of caricature and are rendered unforgettable in stand-out walk-ons which contribute to the film’s several surprises; some gleeful, others baffling and ultimately, just plain unexpected.
John Slattery’s casting Hoffman in what will now be one of his final performances may have raised the stakes for the Mad Men star’s feature-length directorial debut, but thankfully God’s Pocket doesn’t disappoint. Successfully combining criminal corruption, murder mystery, small town eccentricity, ultra-violence and black comedy sounds an impossible feat, but of course Roger Sterling’s the man to pull it off.