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Friday, July 25, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  A Love Song For Bobby Long cinematronic
  director

Shainee Gabel

cast

John Travolta, Scarlett Johansson, Gabriel Macht, Deborah Kara Unger, Dane Rhodes

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  With his "Saturday Night Fever" breakout and his "Pulp Fiction" comeback behind him, a middle-aged John Travolta has been known to engage in bouts of ravenous scenery-chewing. How nice that he found a role that turns his occasional excesses into a plus. Steeped in the muggy dramatic swamp of "A Love Song for Bobby Long," he taps into his honeyed inner ham as an alcoholic ex-professor of literature, and gives one of his more entertaining performances. Bobby (Travolta) shambles down picturesque New Orleans streets, and, accompanied by his equally dissolute protégé Lawson Pines, he tries to drink himself into oblivion. When trailer-trash teen Pursy Will hits town to reclaim a rundown house that belonged to her late, estranged mother, she finds Bobby and Lawson squatting there in boozy squalor. So begins a contentious, ultimately touching relationship involving these three lost souls. To match up with the luminous, husky-voiced Scarlett Johansson ("Lost in Translation") as feisty, budding Pursy and wry Gabriel Macht as self-defeating would-be novelist Lawson, Travolta is obliged to dig deep for the crucial portrayal of Bobby. Despite purveying blatant pathos, the actors bring a lot of heart to the story and its emotional payoff. The seductive, sultry New Orleans atmosphere functions as one more engaging character in the film, as adapted by first-time director Shainee Gabel from a novel by Ronald Everett Capps.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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