Trees Lounge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Trees Lounge Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2014
A melancholy yet humorous look into alcoholism that should be remembered for its great dialogue that never sounds expository, yet the plot feels a bit dispersed around many situations, which somehow curiously reflects how Buscemi's character lives his unfocused life.
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2010
An independent powerhouse from the man who most exemplifies character actor, Steve Buscemi made a film that is patiently paced, full of pure character driven scenes and examples of tragedy meeting the human spirit. The story centers on the human wretch known as Tommy, a barfly who is always fighting with himself, other bar patrons, and the people of his past who detest him for his awkward clinginess yet abandoned him in the first place. Tommy has always had his faults, but with the breakup of a long term relationship and her getting pregnant by a former friend, Tommy turns into a delinquent alcoholic with a penchant for dropping in on people who don't want his greasy company. There are many supporting characters either connected to the skeevy man himself or are on the fringes of his universe, controlled by his disgusting actions. In the course of the film Tommy eliminates anyone who could have gotten close to him or helped him by making the worst of choices, never apologizing for his past actions or the present, and repeatedly mocking the people who are trying to help him change. The reason the film is heart warming and yet deplorably altruistic is that Tommy's actions are always with the explicit need to not be found out. He tries to deflect all blame from himself by lying and dodging the truth with the utmost of ease. Other characters include a misguided and philandering husband who only wants to reconcile with his wife, a bevy of other bar oriented folk who chain smoke and play forties' standards on the juke box, a tired waitress, and the family of his ex-girlfriend, including a teenage daughter (Sevigny) who is confused and naive about his motivations. The film flows well, and bridges the gap between drama and light comedy by ingratiating us to the characters and entertaining with the ensemble effect of a movie of this kind. If anyone believed Buscemi was just a pretty face that is easily reconciled with his sturdy direction and immaculate writing, all of which play into this semi-quirky but highly realistic film about being lost and how unsure one can be in those circumstances. The meaning is that being an awful person doesn't always mean someone should have to be shunned since that leads to more pain and resentment from everyone else. It's a strikingly brilliant film and one that showcases the real talent of Steve Buscemi.
blkbomb
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2012
Marie: You don't go to work every day. You go to a bar every day. 

"A story about one man's search... for who knows what"

Trees Lounge is the name of the bar where Tommy can be found just about 24/7. He's an alcoholic, and this movie is one of the best representations of alcoholism I have seen. It's not overblown like in most movies, where the alcoholic is beating the shit out of people, throwing up everywhere, and crying every twenty minutes. Every alcoholic I've ever met is much more like this character. They are constantly making excuses about why they drink, and if something in their life could turn around they would easily be able to stop. Most of the time that something never happens though, and they are in an endless cycle of booze and excuses.

Tommy has many reasons to drink. He's an unemployed mechanic, who was fired from his last job for stealing money. So he isn't exactly getting rave recommendations from that boss, when he applies at other places. To compound that, his boss that fired him also stole his girlfriend of eight years, and she's pregnant. If he could find a job, he could stop drinking. If he could get her back, he could stop drinking. But most of the time, instead of changing his life, he just continues drinking. 

The film is very low key which is one of the reasons I really enjoyed it. I love that it doesn't go over the top to make a point. It is slow and patient work from Steve Buscemi, who stars in, wrote, and directs this character driven film. This is the first Buscemi directed film I have seen, and I have to say, I am extremely impressed by it. I was already a big fan of Buscemi's, what with his work in such movies as, Fargo and The Big Lebowski. Trees Lounge just gave me a whole new respect for the guy. 

Trees Lounge is intelligent filmmaking. It may not be exciting, but for what it wanted to be it was damn near flawless. You really have to be into these type of slow moving movies, where nothing much happens, in order to enjoy this. It has a true indie feel, which makes it much more enjoyable. It's just a good all around movie.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
This is a great movie. I absolutely love it. It is rather slow-paced, which is why I guess some people find it boring, but to me, the slow pace shows the audience just how devastating alcohol can change and screw up a person's life, eating away at them one day at a time.

This is an indie film though, and it's pretty obvious right from the start all the way to the end. I like the ending, but I kind of wished the movie were longer. It would be intersting to see where the characters end up. Maybe they should just make a sequel instead.

This is not a movie for all tastes, as it is slow paced, an indie, and very character driven, but the characters are all very colorful and interesting, and anyone who has ever spent more than two minutes in a bar can probably realte to them, and the lifestyle.

This is shot and directed pretty well, and, even though I love Buscemi as an actor first and foremost, he's also a pretty good director. He gives an outstanding performance, and so do a lot of the well known cast (including the people making cameos).

I've loved this movie ever since I first saw it and became obsessed with Buscemi, and it is one of my all time faves. Hopefully it always will be. I'd hate to think of growing tired of this.
FiLmCrAzY
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2009
wot i saw i was bored but i guess im going to haveto sit down and watch this movie properly! i like steve buscemi so i will give this movie a second chance
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2008
a real genius on and off screen.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2007
Low key character study of a collection of quirky losers centred around a seedy bar. Written and directed as well as starring Steve Buscemi in an intelligent and likeable flex of his credible indie credentials.
Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2006
Good movie, but I just felt like I was watching too many people I know in action.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2012
"So what. I mean everybody's fucked up. Nobody wants anyone to think they are, but everyone knows anyway"--Tommy (Steve Buscemi)

Trees Lounge is a unique sort of character study, in that it doesn't necessarily revolve around one specific theme, but instead focuses on a culmination of them, including alcoholism, loneliness, angst, and sets it in a believable world. Buscemi does a great job as both the lead actor, and as a director. I appreciated how the film incorporated the characters, and gave us relatable situations, while still maintaining a sense of humor, albeit a dark one. In that way the writing is strong, having an authentic feel for character dynamics. This is helped by the strong supporting cast, notable Chloe Sevigny, who plays a convincing adrift teenager, hopeless infatuated with the equally lost Buscemi.

I thought the story itself could have used more back-story, however. We never fully got an appreciation for why exactly Tommy ended up the way he did, and so we never relate to his character arc, or lack thereof, in as meaningful way as one would hope. The same can be said of the other story-lines as well. However, taken together, the story-lines do complement each other well. Ultimately, the film depicts its world well, we get a strong feel for the sort of hopelessness and confusion that pervades in it, while at the same time staying engaged with its enjoyable charm.

Overall, it's a strong, finely acted, indie drama, with some interesting things to say.

3.5/5 Stars
stevetheman1236
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2011
Steve Buscemi's dramedy Trees Lounge is a fine debut; a debut which he wrote, directed, and starred in.

It deals with Tommy, a loser that just can't seem to get anything together. He spends most of his time down at the local bar, Trees Lounge, where a select few of people do the same as him, wasting their entire days at the bar. There's even an alcoholic named Bill who visits the bar so often that he even has his own seat.

Basically, Trees Lounge is a showcase for Buscemi. He does a wonderful job as Tommy and the writing is fantastic. Now, that's what really impressed me. The writing is gloriously aware of its subject matter and it treats its character as real people, which they are. There's a group of barflies like this in every bar in every town---- at least, the smaller ones, that is.

And on top of all of that, it's very funny. Granted, it does take a more serious turn towards the latter half of it, but for the most part, I was laughing. And out loud, too.
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2011
Steve Buscemi's dramedy Trees Lounge is a fine debut; a debut which he wrote, directed, and starred in.

It deals with Tommy, a loser that just can't seem to get anything together. He spends most of his time down at the local bar, Trees Lounge, where a select few of people do the same as him, wasting their entire days at the bar. There's even an alcoholic named Bill who visits the bar so often that he even has his own seat.

Basically, Trees Lounge is a showcase for Buscemi. He does a wonderful job as Tommy and the writing is fantastic. Now, that's what really impressed me. The writing is gloriously aware of its subject matter and it treats its character as real people, which they are. There's a group of barflies like this in every bar in every town---- at least, the smaller ones, that is.

And on top of all of that, it's very funny. Granted, it does take a more serious turn towards the latter half of it, but for the most part, I was laughing. And out loud, too.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2007
Great film!
RockabillySaint
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2006
Damn, this movie is just. . . CHARMING. Everything about it is so endearing and enjoyable, and it moves at a nice relaxed pace (but it's not boring in the least). It has a realistic humour and wit to it that reminds me of my own friends and family, and I found myself laughing out loud on several occassions. The music is also just amazing; soulful blues melodies that really capture the feel of the film and add to every scene. (I also really liked it because I kind of think of it as a unofficial back story for Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs, lol)
½ September 10, 2014
Every once in a while I see a film that reminds me that Steve Buscemi is brilliant. I mean it, I think Steve Buscemi is one of the best American actors working today. He's certainly the most underrated. You can can see the proof of this in Reservoir Dog, The Messenger, Fargo, and in Trees Lounge. So for those readers who know him as one of the ubiquitous supporting actors in Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production; know that his talents are being extremely underserved there. Here is Trees Lounge, he writes, directs, as well as stars. Steve Buscemi plays Tommy, a down-on-his-luck, out of work, alcoholic barfly who seems to have a talent for making terrible decisions. Still, he's a nice guy, and you're still very capable of sympathizing with him. The film follows him as he goes through whats left of his life, trying to pick up the pieces from his terrible life choices. The entire film is an examination of his alcoholism and laziness as he interacts with the world around him in the small New York town he lives. Steve Buscemi is brilliant in the lead role, and he's joined by a stellar supporting cast as well. Trees Lounge isn't especially ambitious, but it's a nice little film from Director Steve Buscemi.
½ August 22, 2014
Every once in a while I see a film that reminds me that Steve Buscemi is brilliant. I mean it, I think Steve Buscemi is one of the best American actors working today. He's certainly the most underrated. You can can see the proof of this in Reservoir Dog, The Messenger, Fargo, and in Trees Lounge. So for those readers who know him as one of the ubiquitous supporting actors in Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production; know that his talents are being extremely underserved there. Here is Trees Lounge, he writes, directs, as well as stars. Steve Buscemi plays Tommy, a down-on-his-luck, out of work, alcoholic barfly who seems to have a talent for making terrible decisions. Still, he's a nice guy, and you're still very capable of sympathizing with him. The film follows him as he goes through whats left of his life, trying to pick up the pieces from his terrible life choices. The entire film is an examination of his alcoholism and laziness as he interacts with the world around him in the small New York town he lives. Steve Buscemi is brilliant in the lead role, and he's joined by a stellar supporting cast as well. Trees Lounge isn't especially ambitious, but it's a nice little film from Director Steve Buscemi.
August 2, 2013
Good acting and directing here, but there's simply no storyline. The movie finished and I was left wondering what it was supposed to be about.
½ September 15, 2013
Poignant, authentic, yet sublimely understated tale of a suburban Long Island neighbourhood.

Buscemi, in his directorial debut, doesn't once conform to any conventional cinematic standard to pull the audience through to the end. We're all very happy to tag along.
½ September 4, 2013
Despite the loser tone, it held my interest all the way through. Mr. Buscemi is the most-sought character actors of his time; this is his first writer/director credit.
½ July 23, 2013
Buscemi wrote, directed, and starred in this odd, amusing drama about a loser barfly. If you're a Buscemi fan, or a fan of indie cinema, give it a look.
ECF
½ May 12, 2013
Decent. I know Buscemi directed and wrote this. Which I give him credit for. I'd like to see him do more of it. There is something poetic about this entire story. A lot of really cool cameos of young actors just getting their start. Steve Buscemi plays a barfly who fucked up his whole life. Kind of guy everyone has in their life. Then he meets a 17 year old girl who looks 14. And things get weird. Didn't expect that to happen. Yep. Interesting Concept. Solid Execution. Watch it.
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