Rated 4.0

This is the coolest work Matt Dillon has done since Drugstore Cowboy. He plays Henry Chinaski (a role once played by Mickey Rourke in Barfly nearly 20 years ago), author Charles Bukowski’s alter ego. This is an adaptation of the late author’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Dillon sheds all of his movie stardom to play a grizzled, beaten down alcoholic who can’t keep a job at a pickle factory and can’t get his stories published. He meets up with Jan (Lili Taylor), who is basically bad news. She gives him a place to live, but she also gives him crabs. Director Bent Hamer does a nice job recreating Bukowski’s world, a strange place where nothing matters but the next drink. There isn’t much of a plot, but that seems to be the point of the whole enterprise. Nice to see Dillon try something different.