King of the Corner (2005)
Critic Consensus: Riegert makes this low-key, rueful comedy about mid-life angst appealing.
A man looking for a new purpose in his life finds one that last place he expected in this comedy. Leo Spivak (Peter Riegert) is a man slowly sinking into the quicksand of a midlife crisis. He's become increasingly unsatisfied with his career in product testing, especially now that his young assistant Ed (Jake Hoffman) has taken to stealing his ideas and passing them on to his boss as his own work. Leo's marriage to Rachel (Isabella Rossellini) is not what it once was, especially now that she's shifted into a constant state of near-hysteria over their daughter, Elena (Ashley Johnson), and her budding romance with an aspiring juvenile delinquent. And Leo is spending every other weekend with his aging father, Sol (Eli Wallach), who has lost his will to live but uncooperatively won't die. As Leo puzzles over his path in life, he finds some very unexpected answers when he makes the acquaintance of Evelyn Fink (Eric Bogosian), a "freelance Rabbi" with some unusual spiritual advice. King of the Corner was directed and co-written by leading man Riegert; the screenplay was adapted from stories in the collection Bad Jews by Gerald Shapiro. … More
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as Leo Spivak
as Rachel Spivak
as Rabbi Evelyn Fink
as Stan Marshack
as Arthur Wexler
as Nurse Kathleen Deleh...
as Sol Spivak
as Ed Shifman
as Pete Hargrove
as Elena Spivak
as Anthony Berenson
as Elena Spivak
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Critic Reviews for King of the Corner
As a portrait of an average guy who makes average mistakes, it conveys wit and wisdom without leaning too heavily on schmaltz.
Although it's not a flashy debut, Riegert demonstrates an unfailing generosity toward his fellow actors that takes him far.
It's a warm, unexpectedly moving portrait of a man on the verge of what could either be a dreadful or delightful second chapter.
This is perilously close to a vanity film, but since the star has always seemed like one of the least vain guys in the business, maybe he deserves to go on a bender.
Although Riegert, who has here assembled a first-rate cast, clearly has a good touch with actors, his handling of the awkward material reveals his directorial inexperience.
Mr. Riegert has assembled a capable cast with too little to do or say in this dry, crumbly, barely nourishing tale of intergenerational woe.
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