Lately I've been discovering movies by sheer and utter laziness. I'd wake from a mid-day snooze or turn on the television upon awaking in the morning to find a film already in progress.
Being a story guy, I try to figure out the pieces of the plot midway. I've been lucky that I've found some real gems. Sunday's film, in particular, was one of the most multi-layered flicks I've seen this year (and I see ALOT). It's a small indie called "Steel City" and if you like the work of such scribes as say, Raymond Carver, Russell Banks or Richard Ford, then this dreary drama is for you.
It centers on a young man who struggles to hold his family together while keeping his own life on track. P.J. Lee (Thomas Guiry) is a teenager growing up in a decaying industrial town in Illinois. Few kids have it easy where P.J.'s from, but he has it harder than most because his parents split up several years ago, and his dad, Carl (John Heard), is in jail on a vehicular manslaughter charge he's not likely to shake. P.J.'s big brother, Ben (Clayne Crawford), is married and has a life of his own, through his fondness for booze and other women suggests he's following the same sorry path as his dad. P.J.'s mother, When P.J. loses his job as a busboy, he finds he can no longer pay the rent on his house, and has a falling out with his girlfriend, Amy (America Ferrera), who works at the same diner.
With nowhere else to go, P.J. moves in with his uncle Vic (Raymond J. Barry), but he soon begins to buckle under Vic's "straighten up and fly right" attitude. This first film from writer-director Brian Jun was enthusiastically received during its premiere screening at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
if you're lucky enough to stumble upon this like I did, check it out because it's undoubtedly worth it.