Local Color Reviews
The story of the young 18 year-old aspiring artist John Talia, Jr. (Trevor Morgan)- who is mostly misunderstood by his homophobic father (Ray Liotta) thinking that his son must be a homosexual because he enjoys drawing male nudes, was enlightening... real values against contemporary values of the 1974 New York! When John discovers that his idol, aging master, Nicoli Seroff (Armin Mueller-Stahl), lives nearby, he begs the old man to take him on as an apprentice. The invigorating young man has no idea that what he'll find is an embittered old alcoholic who has lost not only his enthusiasm for painting but for living.
It is a movie which doesn't offer too much new, it is all very familiar and predictble but when we have an argument of old real values against contemporary questionable artworks, this doesn't count as a disadvantage. Cat Stevens songs are used to set the mood... and after that prepare yourself to see shades of the Karate Kid in Local Color, especially the mentoring-style of sensei Mr. Miyagi (who was also mourning the loss of his wife)! During the ensuing months, John is introduced to the intricacies of landscape painting by the troubled Seroff as well as the pleasures of romance with a beautiful neighbor (Samantha Mathis). Along the way, there are many passionate discussions about art, fueled by the presence of Seroff's argumentative art dealer friend (Ron Perlman).
If you are an art lover, there is plenty to enjoy in this movie and beautifully photographed in widescreen to take full advantage of its gorgeously scenic Louisiana locations (substituting for Pennsylvania), the film is best appreciated on the big screen. In these suroundings it is impossible not to enjoy the sensitive performances by Morgan, Mueller-Stahl, and Diana Scarwid as John's empathetic mother.