copy to clipboard


Plugin not supported.
Original title
Running time
112 min.
United States United States
Paul Auster
Rachel Portman
Adam Holender
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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.
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)
Movie Soulmates' ratings
Register so you can access movie recommendations tailored to your movie taste.
Friends' ratings
Register so you can check out ratings by your friends, family members, and like-minded members of the FA community.
Is the synopsis/plot summary missing? Do you want to report a spoiler, error or omission? Please send us a message.
If you are not a registered user please send us an email to

All copyrighted material (movie posters, DVD covers, stills, trailers) and trademarks belong to their respective producers and/or distributors.

For US ratings information please visit:
FAQs | Privacy policy / use conditions | Privacy configuration
© 2002-2018 Filmaffinity - Movieaffinity | Filmaffinity is a movie recommendation site based on the concept of Movie Soulmates.
We are an independent movie lovers club worldwide with 646.000 users + 133.000.000 ratings. Not related to any Media or Corporation.
All Rights Reserved | Movie Soulmates™ is a Registered Trademark