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  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

It's a dark and winding road into the past for Johnnie Maher, a tormented immigrant Irishman and the subject of this intermittently interesting but unfocused first feature from writer, director and star Jimmy Smallhorne. Johnnie (Smallhorne) is the foreman of the strictly Irish construction crew run out of the Bronx, NY, by his Uncle Trump (Chris O'Neill)....read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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It's a dark and winding road into the past for Johnnie Maher, a tormented immigrant Irishman and the subject of this intermittently interesting but unfocused first feature from writer, director and star Jimmy Smallhorne. Johnnie (Smallhorne) is the foreman of the

strictly Irish construction crew run out of the Bronx, NY, by his Uncle Trump (Chris O'Neill). Johnnie has a girlfriend, Maria (Kimberly Topper), but is bisexual; on the way home from nights drinking and drugging with the boys, he makes sure to pass through the local cruising grounds. But Johnnie

has an even bigger secret, one he himself isn't entirely aware of: He suffers from terrible nightmares and wakes with a dim recollection of something awful having happened to him as a child back in Ireland. Johnnie's life is further complicated when he meets Christian (Bradley Fitts), an

angel-faced junkie who, after spending a druggy night with Johnnie in a New York City flophouse, shows up on his doorstep on the verge of an overdose. There's a lot going on here, so much that it often seems Smallhorne himself can't quite keep track of his own subplots. Intriguing developments are

suggested, then dropped in favor of something entirely different. The film is handsomely shot by Declan Quinn (Aiden's brother and Mike Figgis' cinematographer on LEAVING LAS VEGAS and ONE NIGHT STAND): Underlit bedrooms and alleyways are bathed in a yellow-red haze; scenes shot in the cold light

of day are all slightly overexposed. But while the world of the Irish construction workers is fully evoked — Smallhorne's use of both actors and non-professionals adds to the realism — nothing else really gels. Johnnie remains as much an enigma to the audience as he is to himself.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: It's a dark and winding road into the past for Johnnie Maher, a tormented immigrant Irishman and the subject of this intermittently interesting but unfocused first feature from writer, director and star Jimmy Smallhorne. Johnnie (Smallhorne) is the foreman… (more)

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