|Genre: Drama, Comedy, Urban, Cult Classic|
Plot: Jim Jarmusch has consistently wowed audiences with his truly distinctive cinematic vision. Shot over the course of a 17-year-period, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES proves once again that Jarmusch is a true original. This time around, the director tries his hand at the short film genre, delivering 11 shorts that are all based around the seemingly insignificant acts of drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. In the first short, "Strange to Meet You," Steven Wright and Roberto Benigni discuss the perks of cigarettes and coffee. In "Somewhere in California," Iggy Pop nervously tries to befriend Tom Waits, who decides that he can have a cigarette because he just quit. Cate Blanchett delivers a towering dual-role performance in "Cousins," playing both her Hollywood superstar self as well as her bitter cousin. In a similarly titled yet totally different short, Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan are brilliant in "Cousins?" And then there is "Delirium," one of the best short films ever made, in which Rappers Rza and Gza (Wu-Tang Clan) discover that Bill Murray is a coffee addict, and they use their expertise to preach to him the benefits of alternative medicine. Jarmusch builds to a poetic conclusion and the film is shot in an artistic black-and-white, making COFFEE AND CIGARETTES both an impressive
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Discussion forum for this movie
Coffee and Cigarettes is agreeably benign, but it ultimately feels like the tossed-off side-project of an artist biding his time before tackling something substantive.
--Nicholas Schager (FilmCritic.com)
Sometimes movies tire us by trying too relentlessly to pound us with their brilliance and energy. Here is a movie pitched at about the energy level of a coffee break. That the people are oddly assorted and sometimes very strange is not so very unusual, considering some of the conversations you overhear in Starbucks.
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Myself, I loved it -- as much for the self-conscious banality and surreal pointlessness of its dialogue, which unravels over the course of 11 more or less unrelated vignettes, as for its austerely retro black-and-white photography, courtesy of a quartet of talented cinematographers...
--Michael O'Sullivan (Washington Post)
A good cast in a project like this with a solid film noir flare...a supreme opportunity for its actors to fly in their performances, and then it all sputters along. C+
--Lee Tistaert (Lee's Movie Info)
Much like the title substances, “Coffee and Cigarettes” is barely digestible, but a reasonable way to kill time and enjoy some company. B+
--Brian Orndorf (FilmJerk.com)