Is a working class town (in Massachusets? or is too REAL and too GOOD to be a specific city?)worthy of being in the pocket of the Lord? How small and invisible must one be to fit inside the cotton confines of a pocket?
Too small for the visual medium of film to perceive you.
GOD'S POCKET is comprised of people who drink a lot, drink as lifestyle, or drink out of Addiction. There is a New Yorky, Italian American immigrant contingent led up by a game John Turturro. He knows exactly who he is, I completely enjoy and believe him, yet I never believe he is a member of this town. Considering the rest of the pack, Turturro is still one of the most nearly honest people who populate the pocket.
There is also a Chicagoan Italian American Immigrant contingent; Lenny Venito slyly steals a scene or two to that end.
Question: Who is believable as a resident of a town of lies?
Answer: Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Without much context, there are multiple times when a character screams out at PSH's character that he isn't even from here!
You wouldn't know. He seems at home. Everyone in this community accepts him. He is a gangster, he is a husband, he is an Irishman. He shrugs, he goes above and beyond for his duplicitous two timing wife (a sleepy Christina Hendricks who tries her best with a lack of direction), and he never speaks up about the effort he employs. His every breath and glance is Honest.
He drinks, but he is not a resident of the bar.
The drinkers speak the truth, and I believe them more than most of the protagonists.
Richard Jenkins drinks too much and he portrays a truth teller who is nothing but a big liar. But who is REAL and who is HONEST?
The real drinkers and the real actors are the only ones who I can believe exist in this town. Eddie Marsan is so fucking bizarre and not like someone I recognize that i believe every twitch , every tonal shift in his non European sound . His body leads with his shoulders and his hips are absolutely invisible. His spry energy and pointed looks are what is upright and good in the world. There is no God, only people that act like Eddie Marsan. Hoffman is electric as a tired man who is resigned to a partner in life who will never protect and support him as he does for her. His line readings are not line readings, they are habitations ,and the real ghost of the person jumps out of his skin; suddenly the dead rises through his voice box as the melody of his voice shoots up abruptly, shocking us into an authentic person in an actual moment.
On paper the rest of them are also talented actors. But they do not live in this town that is like seven different regions of the country sandwiched in one non existent idea. The rest of the residents are playing with costumes, or playing with hair or accents or are playing at being nude. They lie to us, as the film lies about telling us who is good and who is god and where god places people. People are not good because they work hard or because they define their community and wall it in. People are not good because they try to challenge or question that community and it's borders. People are good because they make me believe them in a scene in a movie. And there is not much more here than that.