Rated 4.0

Sure, it’s just another entry in the long line of movies that enable alcoholism—not to mention movies that enable the adulation of Charles Bukowski, from whose autobiographical fiction Factotum was adapted. But it’s also wryly funny and understated and surprisingly easy to watch. The title character is a short-story writer and urban wayfarer (Matt Dillon) who picks up odd jobs, drops them, picks up women (including Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei), drops them, picks up drinks, downs them and occasionally chucks them back up. His tale, adapted by Jim Stark and director Bent Hamer, feels like a compressed series of best-of Bukowski vignettes, with one setup-and-payoff sequence after another—but that laconic approach couldn’t be more correct for the often-prolix source material. Dillon does well enough as a total wreck with total self-assurance to make the tainted glamour of boozy solipsism still worth watching.