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Smoke

7.7
17,031
Ratings
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Original title
Smoke
Year
Running time
112 min.
Country
United States United States
Director
Screenwriter
Paul Auster
Music
Rachel Portman
Cinematography
Adam Holender
Cast
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Producer
Miramax
Genre
Drama | Independent Film (US). 1980s. Ensemble Film. Photography
Synopsis / Plot
In 1990, novelist Paul Auster was asked to contribute a Christmas story to the New York Times. The resulting piece, "Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story," forms the basis for his screenplay for SMOKE. Directed by Wayne Wang and set in a Brooklyn cigar store, Auster expanded the story to include four other characters whose lives intertwine with Auggie Wren’s. As Auggie, the manager of the store that serves as a neighborhood meeting place, Harvey Keitel gives a restrained, mellow performance. The other characters, Paul (William Hurt), a blocked writer; Rashid (Harold Perrineau Jr.), a troubled youth; Ruby (Stockard Channing), Auggie’s former lover; and Cyrus (Forest Whitaker), Rashid’s long-lost father, form a web of relationships over a few summer days. Auster, who had previously adapted his novel THE MUSIC OF CHANCE into a taut script, here exhibits a loose, almost improvisational style as he lets his characters simply talk about their lives. Wang eschews the big, somewhat melodramatic style he used in THE JOY LUCK CLUB for relaxed, natural direction that allows the actors, who are all terrific, to project an everyday realism seldom seen in American movies. The actual Christmas story appears at the end in a beautiful black-and-white montage, accompanied by a bittersweet Tom Waits song.
Awards
1995: Berlin Film Festival: Silver Bear - Special Jury Prize
1995: David di Donatello Awards: Best Foreign Actor (Harvey Keitel). 2 nominations
1995: Chlotrudis Awards: Nominated Best Actor (Harvey Keitel)
1995: Independent Spirit Awards: Best First Screenplay. 2 Nominations
1995: Cesar Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture
1995: German Film Awards: Best Foreign Film
1995: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Channing)
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