Top positive review
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Original and Poignant
on April 24, 2000
Vincent Gallo's directorial debut is a powerhouse of fine acting, writing, and direction, not to mention a showcase for some hilariously inventive cinematography. Buffalo 66 is one of the finest independent films that I have ever seen, and perhaps the most fascinating character study I have yet to see on film.
Christina Ricci provides a quietly poignant performance as Layla, the odd but tenderhearted tap dancer who provides Gallo's Billy Brown with the only true love he has ever received. Ricci is brilliantly understated, and she relays just as much heartfelt meaning in one glance of her beautiful, dark eyes as Gallo does in his barrage of rapid-fire monologues.
There are also fine supporting performances from Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston, as Billy's utterly dysfunctional parents, Mickey Rourke, as a sleazy bookie, Jan-Michael Vincent, as Billy's touchingly loyal crony and owner of a bowling alley, and Kevin Corrigan, as Billy's slow but well-meaning best friend.
Buffalo 66 is an incredibly moving and beautiful film. It provides some of the starkest movie images of blue-collar society to come along since the '70s. The on-location Buffalo, New York sites are haunting in their bleakness, and the filtered photography emphasizes this all the more.
On top of all of this, Gallo provides a mesmerizing performance as Billy Brown--a man who has spent so much of his life pining for love and tenderness that he doesn't know how to deal with it once it is staring him in the face.