American Buffalo

Director: Mich

Based on David Mamet’s highly acclaimed play, American Buffalo is a tale of life on the low rent underbelly of the USA, set almost entirely on the confines of a junk shop. The film plots the tragicomic actions of Teach (Dustin Hoffman), a small-time thief, Don (Dennis Franz), the junk store owner, and Don’s protege, Bobby (Sean Nelson), who are planning the robbery of a rare coin collection. Scripted by Mamet, American Buffalo is a tour de force, character-driven drama that benefits enormously from the playwright’s rich dialogue, which is full of wit and satirical allusion. Even more impressive are the performances, particularly from Hoffman, perfectly conveying all the sad, silly and destructive flaws of Teach’s character, and Franz (of NYPD Blues fame) as the cynical and permanently disappointed store owner. Director Michael Corrente, whose first feature was the low budget Federal Hill, provides unfussy yet fluid staging of the story which manages to convey the intensity and claustrophobia of the situation without lapsing into sterile theatrics.

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