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Romance & Cigarettes - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

ROMANCE and Cigarettes was once rumoured to be the next project for Joel and Ethan Coen.

It has since been taken on by one of their favourite stars, John Turturro, and will be playing in competition at this year's Venice Film Festival (2005).

The film certainly has plenty of reasons to be interesting. It's described on several websites as 'Pennies From Heaven meets The Honeymooners' and boasts a really strong cast.

It's also a musical featuring Mr Soprano himself, James Gandolfini.

So what's it all about? Billed as a down-and-dirty musical love story set in the world of the working class, the film finds Gandolfini as a blue-collar ironworker, Nick, who builds and repairs bridges.

 

He's married to Kitty (Susan Sarandon), a dressmaker, but is carrying on a torrid affair with a redheaded woman named Tula (Kate Winslet).

Like Oedipus at Colonus, however, Nick is sent into exile and searches to find his way back through the damage he has done once his affair has been discovered.

The resulting film sets out to explore the cost and value of a relationship through life and death.

And when the characters can no longer express themselves with the spoken word, they break into song, which could be the film's biggest selling point, or its crippling weakness.

The fact that it is playing in competition as part of a strong Venice line-up suggests that Turturro has delivered the goods to produce one of the more original and versatile films of the year.

It should open in the UK later this year.

Related story: Clooney to play in competition at Venice 2005

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