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Buffalo '66 (1998)

Director: Vincent Gallo
Writers: Vincent Gallo
Cast: Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara
Genre: Drama, Comedy

"After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit."

Anytime you have a movie where the director has not only written the script but starred too, chances are it's a labor of love and might be something very special. Buffalo '66 is special.

I really admire this film. it's so well put together and it does everything right. It's smart, it's fresh, it's intelligent, it's very will written with dialogue that sounds so refreshingly natural. And It builds a unique world that we get to visit. That world is very familiar and yet different enough to make this intimate look at two dysfunctional, but good people, very interesting.

It was impressive the way Billy responded to the world around him, he's strange yet weirdly likable. Well at first he's not likable, but he does have humanistic qualities that balance his stranger side...and that says a lot about him and the script. He doesn't seem like some movie character, he seems real. The opening scene where he's let out of prison but wants back in to use the bathroom was well done as it gave insight into Billy, I think most of us could relate to his frustration over not finding a bathroom.

Vincent Gallo
gave one helluva a performance, creating a character that was in many ways like a repressed child. He lashes out, but he means no harm, he just doesn't know any better. I felt for him when he told his story how he had loved only one girl his entire life, and...she didn't even know it, he's lived a sad lonely life and only wants his parents to notice him...but their to engrossed in themselves.

Christiana Ricci
, was also very good in this. She too is like a child and her character reminded me of Lolita (1962) I wonder if that's why she was named Layla? She has this baby doll look and even though she's clearly a woman she acts and looks like a young girl, she too is odd, but still likable.

I was totally blown away by the body language that both she and Vincent showed in many of the scenes. Their body positions speaks volumes about the mentality of both characters, above is a couple of examples...Vincent does the 'pulling into himself' body stance through out the movie and it helps make this movie special. Christiana too does this pigeon toed leg position in many of the senses, which further adds to her baby doll Lolita person.

The cinematography was gritty and yet focused it was never overly fancy and yet gave us a you-are-there feel. Loved the shooting locations, the run down suburban town, the bowling alley, the parents house and Denny's too.

I found the film truly funny at times. And the humor isn't the obvious kind, but realistic humor that comes from real life.