This says nothing about Gallo's own demonic charm as Billy or his directorial boldness in juxtaposing the emotional surreality of his story with the bleak reality of his hometown in winter, creating a sort of casual but strangely haunting weirdness.
The best movie I have seen in years. Finally something unique, interesting,dark and funny! Right of the bat you feel for Billy Brown. Vincent Gallo is perfect, Christina Ricci is at her very best (also gorgeous) and Angela Hudson had me laughing and crying at once. The soundtrack is amazing as well with a brilliant scene of Ricci dancing to King Crimson.
As naked and bitter and mesmerizing a display of self-pity as you've seen outside as Edward Albee play. By the end of this willfully grimy yet oddly beautiful movie, Billy and Layla have earned grudging sympathy.
I enjoyed every single second of this movie. The filming, the acting, the music was all fantastic. A man with nothing to live for is saved by a woman he just met earlier that day. Just goes to show that one thing can turn our lives completely around for the better. A must see.
Buffalo '66 is an easy film to dislike, especially in the opening minutes. The way the female lead is mistreated arouses anger. But a few more minutes in and the film begins to reveal an edgy, dark humor and bitter honesty that is somewhat reminiscent of Coen Brothers and Jarmusch films. I expected to be shutting the movie off and instead found myself rating it higher as it progressed. I give it a positive rating on account of the talent displayed in the acting and the directing and also on account of the risks it took.
Clearly made on a budget, there is no fancy CGI, no big car chases and no big fight scenes. It’s a piece that relies very much on performance to keep it together and on that front I can’t fault it. Both Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci did a fine job, as did Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Houston. I guess it’s one of those films that’s more about the inner workings of the mind; you find yourself asking what is the motivation behind Billy’s actions and what exactly does Layla see in him? I have to admit at first I really didn’t like the character of Billy, but he grew on me as I came to understand him more. It’s a film that took some time to get going but I found it a worthy watch eventually.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 6.6/10
Buffalo '66 is simply an ok film. It is an interesting character study of a very damaged man who is struggling throughout with the demons of his life. The film is at times very dark, funny, quirky, and absurd, but mostly the last of those. Usually, I do not have a problem with absurd scenarios, but with this one being essentially based around an absurd scenario (well, not based around, but a large part of it concerns it) is annoying. It really distracts you from the film. On top of that, I get what Vincent Gallo was going for in terms of his character Billy Brown, but it was a little overdone to the point that his quirkiness is overwhelming, and much like the absurdity, annoying. The film is far from horrible, but these negatives really took away from my enjoyment of it.
In terms of positives, the aforementioned characterizaton of Billy Brown was really done well, as well as his transformation throughout the film. The Billy Brown we first meet is totally different than the one the film ends with and it is enjoyable to watch this transformation take place throughout the film. In addition, the acting by Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci was quite good and really helped to carry this film.