New On Netflix: Smoke

[BoxTitle]Smoke[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="60026334"/] [NetflixWatch id="60026334"/]

Director Wayne Wang and writer Paul Auster’s highly pleasing Brooklyn fable is what Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused might’ve been like if it had featured middle-aged people in New York City instead of teenagers in Austin. There are several little “stories” going on here, all of them orbiting a modest cigar shop run by Auggie (Harvey Keitel, managing to table the tough guy act for this one) — William Hurt gives one of his best-ever performances as a grieving novelist who’s saved from a brush with death by a young drifter (Harold Perrineau, Jr.), who’s looking to reconnect with his estranged father (Forest Whitaker); meanwhile, Auggie himself is reunited with his ex-wife (Stockard Channing) as they try to “save” their drug-addicted daughter (Ashley Judd). The film’s engrossing narrative weaves and wafts and dissipates, becoming little more than a series of fleeting moments that nonetheless will stick with you long after the fire’s been put out. Funny, touching, insightful and mesmerizing, Smoke is a one of a kind — and one of the few New York movies that takes place in a New York that you might actually recognize. The black-and-white closing credits sequence, set to Tom Waits’ “Innocent When You Dream,” is especially excellent.

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