Film review: Delirious

Delirious
2006
Peace Arch Entertainment Group, Thema Production, Artina Films

STARRING Michael Pitt, Steve Buscemi, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon, David Wain, Cinqué Lee, Callie Thorne, Kevin Corrigan, Richard Short
WRITTEN BY Tom DiCillo
PRODUCED BY Robert Salerno
DIRECTED BY Tom DiCillo

SHOT BY Frank G. DeMarco
EDITED BY Paul Zucker
MUSIC BY Anton Sanko
DISTRIBUTED BY Peace Arch Releasing

Screened 2007-07-25

Some are pretty and/or blessed, while quite a few more people inhabit less prestigious social rungs – and it sucks to suck.  So observes Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion, The Real Blonde).  With a thoughtless smear of jet black, kinda-funny-lookin Buscemi’s character Les is painted – a misanthropic scavenger of celebrity, a paparazzi photographer.  Aside from being, like us all, a human being, he has not one redeeming quality.  Les encounters a charming, self-effacing young vagrant named Toby and takes him on as an assistant, letting him just-adequate closet space for sleep.  To no great surprise, seeing the two men stand side-by-side in public illuminates Les’s complete lack of character, kindness, and patience, especially when other warm bodies instinctively gravitate towards Toby.  Les gives Toby plenty of reasons to better-deal him, which Toby naturally ends up doing through no fault of his own (as he is virtually faultless).  Wannabe actor Toby is inevitably spotted and becomes involved in a perfect cover-story union with a perpetually cleavage-baring pop diva, performed well, as usual, by Alison Lohman.  The question becomes how can the utterly bitter Les go on living, having now had a true taste of the celebrity he’s whored himself for for years?

Really, celebrities, pretty people, happy stories, beauty personified in others – its why many people go to the movies in the first place; the vicarious experience of celebrity, fame, beauty, lust, adoration.  Could it be that those who view art, and don’t create it, are nothing more than paparazzi of a different nature?  Delirious is successful in its choice of subject matter – beyond that, it’s about as piercing as a TV movie.  The film is like the character of Toby – decent, earnest, but rather simple and ineffectual.  Alas, DiCillo.  He illuminated a world in which a select few are born into adoration and talent – God save the rest.

written by David Ashley

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