I went in to this film not having a clue about it. I knew that Buffalo 66 was the first movie from Vincent Gallo but apart from that – nothing. I didn’t even know one of my favourite actors, Christina Ricci, was in it. Great surprise and she was terrific.
Buffalo 66 is unusual. It follows Vincent Gallo’s character out of prison back to life. He has lied to his parents about where he’s been and has even made up a wife. He kidnaps Christina Ricci’s character and goes to visit the folks with his ‘wife’. This could have played out as expected but the characters are so odd that somehow this all seemed normal.
There’s certainly something very wrong with these two but I found myself hoping for a good outcome for them both. There were times when she could have run but she didn’t and he is so intense and unhappy about his life that he is hardly likeable. Weird then that I liked them both so much.
Another awesome surprise was Angelica Houston rocking it as the Mum obsessed by football (the Superbowl kind) and not much else, least of all her son.
These are two very lonely and sad people and, in fact, the kidnapping becomes quite stockholm syndrome quite quickly. The lies upon lies that develop are quite astounding and as ‘the wife’ she begins to relish her power in the situation. I should stop saying it but I remain surprised by how much I liked them because they make strange decisions and he is really quite mean to her and she just falls in love more. Sad. The fact that this movie is set over less than 24 hours makes it even sadder (yet I loved it! I just wanted them to be happy – so much for my romance immune action brain… although it ain’t a romantic film.)
There is great use of flashbacks as explanation of how he came to be in prison and the life he had with his oddball parents. The whole movie feels quirky like an early Wes Anderson film. It’s less quirky though and more sad sack. (I have no idea how to describe this, can you tell? Sweet and creepy maybe?) The flashbacks are quirky too. They appear as tiny squares in the middle of the screen and slowly take over – it kind of scared me the first time.
The ending is very unusual too. That is all I can say about that.
You should watch this film just to see Vincent Gallo’s run. So odd. So uptight.