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God's Pocket


Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Richard Jenkins, Eddie Marsan, Caleb Landry Jones, Jack O'Connell, Joyce Van Patten

Director: John Slattery

If you'd told bald, bespectacled, elderly character star Jenkins that he'd be in a movie having sex with voluptuous Hendricks from Mad Men, he'd probably have fallen about laughing. But that's just what happens here.

God's Pocket is the name of a blue-collar New York suburb where the action takes place. In an unworthy penultimate screen role, a paunchy Hoffman plays Mikey, partners in a dodgy meat-delivery business with Bird (Turturro), who's deep in debt to a local loan shark.

Mikey's statuesque but none-too-bright wife Jeanie (Hendricks) dotes on her son Leon (Landry Jones), who has straggly unwashed hair and goes around threatening workmates with a razor. When one of them turns on him and kills him with a length of lead piping, Mikey, who has just lost his shirt on a 'sure thing', becomes embroiled in a running battle with local undertaker Smilin' Jack (Marsan), who operates a no-money, no-coffin policy.

The idea of Jenkins lying down with Hendricks is vaguely creepy in itself, but the film is in any case all sweat and swear and much ado about not very much - if briefly enlivened by Van Patten, once a Peter Sellers co-star, who proves unexpectedly handy with a gun when enforcers move in on husband Turturro.

Hoffman, however, looks tired and spent. A sad twilight to a brilliant career.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Arrow Films. Colour by Kodak.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 03 Aug 2014