Combustible Celluloid
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With: Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Jared Harris, Harold Perrineau, Victor Argo, Forest Whitaker, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd, Giancarlo Esposito
Written by: Paul Auster
Directed by: Wayne Wang
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 112
Date: 02/10/1995

Smoke (1995)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Smoke' Rings Out

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Billed as a film by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster, Smoke is the first in a pair. (The second, Blue in the Face is due soon.) The great cast includes Harvey Keitel as Auggie Wren, a smoke shop owner, who comes from Auster's short story "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story." William Hurt plays Paul, a writer. The great Forest Whitaker plays Cyrus, a one-armed mechanic. Stockard Channing plays a one-eyed former flame of Auggie's, and Ashley Judd rips it up in one scene as Channing's crack-addicted daughter. Auster, a dark and mysterious writer adapts himself marvellously well to the big screen. He seems untouched by typical movie dialogue and invents his own, straight out of his novels. Wang is a sure handed director, opting for long, unbroken shots wherein his actors can really sink their chops.

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