Virgil Bliss (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Virgil Bliss (2001)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The feature-film debut of sound technician-turned-writer/director Joe Maggio, Virgil Bliss is a naturalistic drama along the same lines as the works of Mike Leigh or John Cassavetes. Released from a nearly ten-year prison sentence, Virgil Bliss (Clint Jordan) just wants to lead a normal life and have a family. At a halfway house, he meets and befriends Manny Alvarez (Anthony Gorman), who offers him some help getting adjusted to life on the outside. Virgil then meets and falls in love with Ruby (Kirsten Russell), a junkie who yearns to reunite with her four-year-old son. After getting a straight job, Virgil moves in with Ruby and they start to build a life together. Their situation gets complicated when Manny shows up in a violent rage. Virgil Bliss was shown at the 2001 Slamdance Film Festival and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.
Art House & International , Drama
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Clint Jordan
as Virgil
Marc Romeo
as Devo
Greg Amici
as Gillette
Tom Brangle
as captain
Richard Bierman
as Check-Out Guard
Whitney Hamilton
as Virgil's boss
Denny Bess
as Lombardo
Alejandra Leon
as Prostitute No. 2
Patrick Sullivan
as drug dealer
John Hegeman
as big guard
Patrick Walsh
as little guard
Mike Bubb
as prisoner
Alan Reeder
as prisoner
Matthew Auriemma
as prisoner
Jason Jones
as prisoner
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Virgil Bliss

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

An overly familiar scenario is made fresh by an intelligent screenplay and gripping performances in this low-budget, video-shot, debut indie effort.

July 10, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Too bad Maggio couldn't come up with a better script.

June 13, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic

Shot largely in small rooms, the film has a gentle, unforced intimacy that never becomes claustrophobic.

June 12, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

Stale, futile scenario.

June 11, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

Raw independent drama with great naturalistic performances.

November 7, 2005

Proof that a newcomer indie filmmaker can infuse some new life into the Downtrodden Loser Character Study.

June 9, 2003
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Virgil Bliss

Low budget, high art and realism in this film about a convict getting out after a decade. The film has an almost documentary feel to it. Virgil is my favorite anti-hero since Silence of the Lambs. The big lug tries so hard to be good, and actually follows through on it, once he's released from prison. He's a positive role model for his halfway house buddy, and love's his woman even though shes quite the wounded bird, and pecks. Virgil gets a job, has a stable residence, and is in a relationship. As he gets set up in his new life, we see glimpses of how VB wound up in prison in the first place, and in the last moments of the film find him in the same circumstances as the crime that got him put away. Will he make the same choice? Regardless, you will still root for Virgil. That's the beauty of this film. Its all about VB.

Ryan Mahon
Ryan Mahon

Virgil's naïveté isn't entirely believable, but his essential goodness is, thanks to a solid performance by Jordan, and that's really what makes this modern urban tragedy affecting.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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