Trees Lounge [1996]

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Steve Buscemi, an icon of the independent film world for years, took the opportunity to write, direct, and star in this wistful low-budget gem. He plays Tommy, a Long Island loser who gets tossed from his job as a mechanic for questionable financial antics. He spends his days at a local bar, drinking his life away even as he denies that he's doing any such thing. And when he finally works up the gumption to get a job, he winds up driving an ice-cream truck in his old neighborhood--and getting involved in an inappropriate relationship with his teeny-bopper assistant (Chloe Sevigny), earning the violent enmity of her father (Daniel Baldwin). Low-key in its approach, the film has a sad humor that is both knowing and forgiving, as well as offering one of Buscemi's best performances. --Marshall Fine

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