The story ostensibly is about their relationship - that of a loser who gets a chance to play Svengali to a naive yet grounded young man who had come to New York hoping to find an acting gig. While this story is interesting what makes the film compelling is that it really gets inside the media/stardom riff. Buscemi's character "Les" (hint hint) points out that those that take the picture are just as important as the stars themselves, because without the pictures there'd be no magazines and without the magazines there'd be very little to keep the stars in the spotlight.
The film further exposes the stardom hierarchy (as perceived by the stars themselves). There's A list and B lists galore, and even an "all access" press pass has levels of true access. It's this farcical nature and twisted reality that Les rails against (in Buscemi's own brash, yet wounded soul way); although his tough exterior hiding a pitiful guy with low esteem riff does get a bit tired by the end of the film. He keeps telling Pitt that the stars are no different from you and me, but yet gets completely tongue tied when he gets the chance to meet Elvis Costello. Yep, Les is a sad loser, one of those who exist on the fringe of society - wanting to be noticed, but without the charm and charisma to make it happen. Even his small victories seem hollow as his parents totally dismiss the fact that one of his pictures got a quarter page spread in one of the trash weeklies.
The film also features Alison Lohman doing a nice turn as a coddled Britneyesque music star that the story of Toby and Les revolves around. The film pokes fun at this type of character by showing a compellingly bad music video of her latest "hit", and then later as she and Costello discuss doing a musical about the life of Brittney Spears - life imitating art, imitating crap. Gotta love it!
Overall I felt that the film could have been tighter. There were scenes that went on too long as if searching for some magical riff that never occurred, and at times the pacing dragged, but overall, while stylized, it did give an intriguing look into the star machine while also offering solid performances by the two leads.
He prefers the term "licensed professional", but it is obvious that Les Galantine (Buscemi) is just an obsessive compulsive and desperate member of the oft-loathed paparazzi. One day he crosses paths with an odd homeless actor named Toby (Pitt) who is genuine, maybe a little off, and aimless. Les takes Toby under his wing, providing him with food and shelter, and a job as his assistant.
Along the way, Toby gets a break, and his friendship with Les goes downhill. I thought I knew where this film was headed, but then became surprised when it started to take a dark turn. I was even more surprised when the ending took where I thought it was going and suddenly turned the other way. Good job, DiCillo. I salute you.
Buscemi and Pitt are amazing, and the support cast, including Kevin Corrigan, Gina Gerson, and Alison Lohman are likewise fantastic. This has indie film plastered all over it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's insightful and engaging without being pretentious, and it doesn't feel forced or fake like a Hollywood version might.
Give this one a shot. It's pretty good, and kind of puts things into perspective as far as celebrity photographers go. I'm not saying I totally respect those people now, but it makes me not hate them as much.
Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) is the dregs of the paparazzi. He lives in a crap hole apartment in a bad neighborhood and the only thing worse than the neighborhood he lives in is the inside of his apartment. He has horrible parents whom he still visits and has attachments to. And when we see the three of them together it is very sad. A homeless guy named Toby (Michael Pitt) weasels his way into Les's life, and his crap hole apartment, and is eventually promoted from non-rent-paying roommate who sleeps in the closet to paparazzi's assistant. Had enough yet? There's more. Wait until K'Harma Leeds, pop diva, shows up with her entourage. At one point we see her sitting before a Magnus Chord Organ, (like the one I got for Christmas in 1974), composing her next hit. When we later see her perform it at a music awards show we realize what a joke it was that she agonized over whether to use the word "searching" or "looking" because her ONLY talent is that she lip syncs and dances like a stripper, i.e. a pop diva.
The relationship between Les Galantine and Toby is the centerpiece of the story. Les is needy and repulsive all at the same time. He perspires desperation and fear of abandonment. Toby, goes with the flow. And the flow eventually takes him from homeless guy, to pop diva hanger oner, to star of his own really really bad TV show called "Toby" where he plays a homeless serial killer, named Toby. And just a quick reminder here, his name in real life is Toby. This show is so bad they couldn't even be bothered to imagine a different name for the main character so they just used the name of it's "star". His rise to stardom, his romantic intrigues, and his "go with the flow" style of living, are all expertly written as commentary on the vapid lives and personalities of people who are famous for being famous. The writing and directing, by Tom Dicillo, is witty, poignant, and surgical in it's precision. There is not a wasted word or moment anywhere.
Steve Buscemi is great in everything he does. He is brilliant in "Delirious" . Michael Pitt plays Toby with a warmth and sympathy that makes the process of getting a closer look at those around him tolerable. Honestly, I don't think I'm in the "Michael Pitt demographic", and I've never really gotten him as an actor, until this film. He expertly ties all the disparate elements of these characters, Les Galantine, the talentless pop diva (Allison Lohman), the casting agent (Gina Gershon) and their stories, together in a very compelling performance. I have way big respect for him now...
It is not explicitly spelled out but I would like to go on record here to say that I think Les Galantine is gay and in love with Toby. And although that's not central to the story line it does inform us, somewhat, about this sad injured creature. Steve Buscemi, as Les Galantine, is hard to watch and hard to pull away from from beginning to end. That's talent. Equal credit has to go to the writer/director Tom Dicillo. The story, sometimes mocking, sometimes tender, is written and executed perfectly. The pace is perfect. When it's done you don't even know where the time went. If you like well made, interesting movies, with gobs of talent from beginning to end, watch this one. The ending will surprise you, and the journey is well worth it no matter what. By the way, my friend was not in this movie, and the character I thought he was playing never showed up again...
[font=Century Gothic]"Delirious" is an uneven and uninspired movie that can easily be reduced to sons seeking the approval of their fathers. As a satire of celebrity culture, it fails by taking shots at easy targets like underdressed pop divas and paparazzi who are occasionally grouped in with cockroaches on the evolutionary ladder.(And on behalf of everybody of my generation, I would like to apologize for MTV.) While quite possibly bottom feeders, I still think it is wrong to scapegoat them. That is because the blame for celebrity culture is more complex than that. And a movie with a better supporting cast and atmosphere would have a better chance to accomplish an incisive satire.[/font]
the ending was full of emotion and it was great to see him so happy, i had begun to hate the homeless man for being selfish and unforgiving. but at the end i truly think he made up for it
It's about a good looking homeless guy played by Michael Pitt who one day comes across a group of paparazzi's who want to get pictures of this famous singer K'Harma Leeds. The homeless guy interferes and ends up befriending one of the paparazzi's played by the fastest swaring actor in the world Steve Buscemi who acts the same as he does in every other movie that he's in. Steve makes Michael Pitt his assistant in the paparazzi business because he also really wants to become an actor and he thinks that this might be a good start. Following Steve around everywhere taking pictures of people eventually leads to Michael and K'Harma meeting up again and eventually become a couple. Them becoming a couple then leads to both Michael and Steve getting invited to a party filled with a bunch of famous celebrities. Steve can't control the erg to take pictures of celebrities however so they both end up getting get kicked out. Stuff similar to this happens later in the film and Michael Pitt gets so pissed off at him that he eventually just leaves him and runs off to become an actor, a successful one. Steve eventually gets extremely jealous at what a big celebrity he's become and comes up with a plan to kill him as he's walking down the red carpet. But then just as he's about to pull the trigger something happens in that scene that touches me in a way that just thinking about it warms my heart every time.
What holds this whole movie together are the excellent performances, terrific casting, and sharp writing which is why it's one of the best movies of 2006, I think so anyway.
Buscemi's best film ever imo.
It has romance, lies, action and great dialogue.
Homeless loser gets a job with a low life paparazzi, sleeping his run down flat in a closet.
Meets a superstar rock babe and the rest is a launch into the drama of uber elite...don't forget about Buscemi...the psychotic funny, neurotic photog.