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Who told Frank D'Angelo that he can act? His horrible acting starting off the movie simply ruined any hope for the rest of the movie. It does not matter who the rest of the cast is, D;Angelo needs to stay away from the front of the camera. Do the other actors not realize that he sucks?
I actually haven't seen "The Red Maple Leaf" (yet) but since his 2018 release "The Joke Thief" doesn't seem to have a Rotten Tomatoes page, I thought I'd leave my review for it here:
Frank D'Angelo has built his name off being larger than life, but his new comedy-drama "The Joke Thief" peels back the bravado and deftly tells the story of the struggles to make a name for yourself on your own terms.
As with all his films D'Angelo serves as writer, director and lead performer, and one suspects that the story of a skilled saleman who longs to satiate his passion for performing may be more personal in nature than crime-based thrillers that make up the rest of his filmography. Here we see D'Angelo at his most vulnerable, playing comedian Simon McCabe, a veteran of the trade who still hopes for that big break but inside worries that perhaps his industry is passing him by. While we do Simon getting laughs - both onstage and in life - but it's the quiet moments when he's alone that say the most, and D'Angelo proves his adeptness at weaving all the elements together and making Simon McCabe a nuanced, and thought-provoking protagonist.
The duality of the comedian as a sad clown is well covered territory, but what Frank D'Angelo has done here is of a different ilk. It is both bold and timid, both familiar and inventive, both bleak and hopeful. It's more than a comedian's story, it is a human story, and one that is beautifully told.
PS. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Ed Hannaford's proficient cinematography that brought New York City to life (even through a cab window)
Great cast! Thought the music was strange, not your typical score. Suspenseful!