Trees Lounge

1996

Trees Lounge

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,600
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Movie Info

Character actor Steve Buscemi made his debut as a writer and director with this seriocomic tale of a guy who is going through something but doesn't know just what it is. Tommy is a 31-year-old auto mechanic who lost his last job after "borrowing" 1,500 dollars from the cash register and heading to Atlantic City, where he wasted no time losing it all at the tables. The fact that he can't get his own car to run isn't impressing any prospective employers, so Tommy spends much of his time at the Trees Lounge, a local watering hole conveniently located downstairs from his apartment. Eventually Tommy lands some work driving an ice cream truck and becomes acquainted with his ex-girlfriend's 17-year-old niece, Debbie (Chloë Sevigny). When they half-heartedly fall into a romance, it's just one more thing for Tommy to be confused about. Buscemi draws upon a rich cast of supporting actors, including Elizabeth Bracco, Anthony LaPaglia, Carol Kane, Debi Mazar, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mimi Rogers.

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Critic Reviews for Trees Lounge

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Trees Lounge

  • Oct 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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 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
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 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.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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