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A Brooklyn cigar shop is the setting for this drama from director Wayne Wang that interweaves the stories of several characters that have fractured family relationships in common. Harvey Keitel is Auggie Wren, poetic owner of the Brooklyn Cigar Company, a store that he considers the center of the world -- a place where all of humanity eventually parades through. One of his regular customers is Paul Benjamin (William Hurt), a writer and a broken shell of a man whose pregnant wife was shot and killed near the store. When Paul's life is saved one day by a young black man named Rashid (Harold Perrineau, Jr., the writer and his rescuer strike up a friendship and begin searching for Rashid's long-lost father (Forest Whitaker). At the store, Auggie is surprised by the appearance of Ruby (Stockard Channing), an ex-girlfriend who informs him that her pregnant, drug-addicted daughter Felicity (Ashley Judd) may also be his -- and is in dire need of help. Screenwriter Paul Auster based the script for Smoke on a 1990 short story he wrote for "The New York Times." He also wrote and directed the film's sequel (of sorts), Blue in the Face (1995). … More
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as Auggie Wren
as Paul Benjamin
as Cyrus Cole
as Rashid Cole
as Ruby McNutt
as Doreen Cole
as The Creeper
as April Lee
as Jimmy Rose
as Book Thief
as Aunt Em
as Irate Customer
as Cyrus Jr.
as Baseball Announcer
as Lawyer No. 1
as A musician
as Lawyer No. 2
as A musician
as A dancer
as Roger Goodwin
as A Brooklyn resident
as A Brooklyn resident
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Critic Reviews for Smoke
With a cigar box of subplots, this episodic yarn is more numbing than boring, though its increasingly compelling narrative has the ill-timed misfortune to collapse completely in its final talky segment.
A deceptively quiet film that celebrates ordinary life as well as the art of storytelling.
You just want to draw it....and never let it out. Great movie.
Audience Reviews for Smoke
Paul Benjamin: if you're gonna die, what's more important, a good smoke or a good book. So he smoked his book.
"Where there's smoke... there's laughter!"
Smoke is a very good movie and wasn't quite what I was expecting. I'm not too familiar with Wayne Wang's work, only having seen Anywhere But Here before, but I was thoroughly impressed with this film. What we have here is basically an unstructured story, which was extremely popular in the nineties, centered around a cigar store in Brooklyn. The story follows a variety of characters from the cigar store owner, one of his customers, a young kid, an unknown father, and a woman from the past. It all melts together really well. This isn't a film for anyone. It's a conversational movie that has a lot of long monologues and storytelling, but for fans of these type of movies, it's heaven. I can't really think of better actors for the movie either. The main two, Harvey Keitel and William Hurt give terrific performances as always.
Smoke is a movie for the person who likes quiet movies that stay away from action and bullshit, that remain real and are just telling the story of human beings. That's what this is to me and that's why I like this movie, and movies like it so much. There's nothing flashy about the characters, there's no big twists, no action to speak of; it's just real life. Smoke blends comedy and drama together really well as well. It's too bad that this isn't a more well known film, but in the end it doesn't really matter. A great film is a great film.
[font=Century Gothic]"Smoke" takes place in 1990 in the mythical land of Brooklyn where Auggie(Harvey Keitel) is the proprietor of a neighborhood cigar store. One of his regular customers is Paul(William Hurt), a once famed novelist who has not been able to write anything since his pregnant wife was killed at a bank robbery some years before. Paul almost absentmindedly walks in front of a truck but is saved by Rashid(Harold Perrineau, Jr), a 16 year old in need of a place to crash.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Crash" is overall not a bad movie but by using a disjointed story structure misses out on any grand commentary on the main theme of the brotherhood of man . Most of it feels improvised but with a cast like this, you cannot go far wrong. Stockard Channing is one of the few actors who retain their dignity while wearing an eye patch. I would have liked to have seen more of Forest Whitaker, though.[/font]
There is a scene where Harvey Keitel does a monologue that goes on for what seems like ten minutes. The camera is still and all we are doing is watch a man talk. Nonetheless, it is brilliant..and that is only one part of this film.
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