Tommaso

Tommaso ★★★★

Ferrara's characters are such embodiments of their environments that Tommaso is an immediate outlier for following a man visibly out of his element. But that matches the man's inner life of attempting to escape his past, a recovering addict who has decided that one of his steps has to be to put as much distance between himself and the things he ruined as possible. Dafoe plays a Ferrara avatar with quite a bit more chill and affability than the genuine article, but he slowly fills in the character with spikes of suppressed rage and entitlement that the film traces erratically, not inserted merely to lead to a rupture but tracked through peaks and valleys to show the complexities of a bad man trying to be good (even if for selfish reasons). The scene with the immigrant is one of the marvels of the year.

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