American Dreamer starring Jim Gaffigan, Isabel Arraiza, Robbie Jones. Directed by Derrick Borte. It's playing right now in limited release. It has a pretty poor critic score on RT of 60%. What can I say, I think the critics are insane. This is a pretty darn good movie. And if you are an independent filmmaker, you should see it, because it's full of lessons.

First, the story is quite good and very involving. It's well written and quite brilliantly suited to limited sets and constrained conditions of low budget indie films - a lot of time is spent in a car. The acting is out of this world. Jim Gaffigan is a very successful comedian (whose comedy is not my cup of tea), but as an actor, he absolutely hits it out of the ball park - so, so good. Robbie Jones - excellent. Love, love, love Isabel Arraiza. Man, we live in such a good time for acting. But the director impressed me a lot too - the camera work is excellent, with really, really good shot choices especially the prolonged close ups. The cinematography is very good. The film really has no weak points. It's such a pleasure when a film starts and it's immediately excellent and maintains its excellence throughout. Even the music is quite good - a rarity these days in film. Is it a masterpiece - no, but it's superb, one of the best films I've seen in a very long time. Nine stars out of 10.


What the critics hated was of course the child abduction and death - "can't believe they (director/writer) went there", well, Virginia, why not, not every film has to be Disneyland, some need to reflect the real world out there that can sometimes be pretty grim. Also the NY Times critic had an objection that the n-word was used too often by the black actors - this critic is a first class moron and it's disappointing that the NY Times would hire such a brainless hack. F the critics, do yourself a favor and check out this movie - you will not only enjoy it, but learn a ton from it. Highly recommended.