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      Buddy Boy

      R Released Mar 24, 2000 1 hr. 45 min. Mystery & Thriller List
      63% 8 Reviews Tomatometer 67% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Francis (Aidan Gillen), a dedicated Catholic, questions his faith when caring for his abusive, drunkard mother, Sal (Susan Tyrrell), begins taking a toll on his psyche. He also becomes somewhat obsessed with his gorgeous new neighbor Gloria (Emmanuelle Seigner), whom he watches constantly. Unable to accept his own good fortune when Gloria reciprocates his interest and falls in love with him, Francis struggles with crippling self-doubt, allowing himself to be consumed with paranoid fantasies. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member It was great performance from Aidan Gillen! The tense situation of things are really heightening my suspicions on people, honestly. And I never thought that his said mother is actually his brother dressing as their mom! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member The weirdness of this thriller ensures that it is never boring. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member "Buddy Boy," Mark Hanlon's debut, is a haunting and potent film about dead end lives that provokes more questions than answers but remains bizarrely interesting throughout. The film provides a look into the surrealistic existence of emotionally stunted, stuttering misfit Francis (Aidan Gillen,) who lives with his trollish invalid stepmother (actual amputee Susan Tyrell) in a squalid apartment. Suffering from overwhelming guilt concerning his sexuality, his religion, and himself, he goes to confession monthly, admitting every impure thought and indiscretion. The contrast between faith and the id is revealed in the opening, which presents the viewer with a montage of religious imagery followed by Francis, uh... pleasuring himself to a magazine pair of voluptuous breasts. Like Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty," this is the high point of his day, which soon descends into woeful monotony. He finds a new past time in spying on his attractive neighbor Gloria (Emmanuelle Seigner, controversial Polish director Roman Polanski's wife) through a hole in his apartment. Then they meet. Gloria is strangely attracted to Francis, which would be unfeasible if she weren't clearly lonely and desperate too. She tells him she is a vegan, a word he doesn't understand, but he catches on. According to her, she doesn't care what he eats, but then she buys him a 'Meat Is Murder' T-shirt, which is a mixed message if I ever saw one. This further accentuates the character's conflicting beliefs and desires. Gloria is pretty and nice, too nice, and Francis begins believing irrational things about her pastimes, focusing on her eating habits. Meanwhile he becomes increasingly psychotic (?) and has a falling out with God. Is Francis going insane. Or is meat back on the menu? "Buddy Boy" is an enigma- although declared a religious allegory by Imdb users, it at times seems to be making a statement against Christianity. In fact Francis spends so much time obsessing about his masturbating, sinning ways that the viewer wishes the poor guy would just snap out of it. The movie is a triumph of atmosphere- the bleakness and decay of Francis and Sal's apartment is palpable, while Gloria's big-windowed, pleasingly green abode seems to spell change for the troubled young man. The problem, it seems, is the vast contrast in acting styles between Aidan Gillen (Francis) and Susan Tyree (Sal. the step mom.) Gillen, from the GLBTQ show "Queer as Folk" (Unwatched by me,) plays his character sensitively and gently, as a fundamentally benevolent albeit strange outcast damaged by trauma and psychosis. Susan Tyree plays his abusive step mom more like a SNL skit. Maybe her broad performance is the fault of the material. When an actress' character is scripted to beat a plumber over the head with her artificial leg (one of the stranger scenes in this story,) maybe there isn't much room for subtlety. "Buddy Boy," nevertheless, is an intriguing first feature and a fascinating story. It walks a fine line between being campy and profound, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like the humanization of Francis, a character who might be written off as a scummy voyeur, or worse, as white trash. It raises interesting questions, contains twists, and transports you, which is something films should accomplish, but rarely do. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member An odd thriller with an odd ending. Does keep you going, the surprise towards the end is surprising, but the ending seems a little rush and confusing. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Dark, strange, and not sure what happened....I loved it! Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member One of the strangest, and most compelling films I've ever seen in my life. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

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      Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Rated: C Sep 7, 2011 Full Review Entertainment Weekly Rated: C- Mar 24, 2000 Full Review Dave Kehr New York Times Rated: 3.5/5 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 3.5/5 Dec 6, 2005 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 22, 2005 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 3.5/5 Dec 8, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Francis (Aidan Gillen), a dedicated Catholic, questions his faith when caring for his abusive, drunkard mother, Sal (Susan Tyrrell), begins taking a toll on his psyche. He also becomes somewhat obsessed with his gorgeous new neighbor Gloria (Emmanuelle Seigner), whom he watches constantly. Unable to accept his own good fortune when Gloria reciprocates his interest and falls in love with him, Francis struggles with crippling self-doubt, allowing himself to be consumed with paranoid fantasies.
      Director
      Mark Hanlon
      Screenwriter
      Mark Hanlon
      Distributor
      Fine Line Features
      Production Co
      Woods Entertainment, Independent Pictures
      Rating
      R (Violence|Drug Use|Sexuality|Language)
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 24, 2000, Wide
      Release Date (DVD)
      Sep 27, 2005
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $10.3K
      Sound Mix
      Surround
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.85:1)