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Movie Review: Sweet and Lowdown

Story: Woody Allen's umpteenth semi-autobigraphical mockumentuary work this time focus' around Ernest Ray, a fictitious 1930's guitar player (who happens to be the second greatest player in the world after the real gypsy guitar player Django Rheinhardt whose wonderful music is heard throughout the film). Ernest Ray is a rogue, a cad, a pimping womanizer, a gambler, a drunk and in general leads a life that is a shambles. However, he is an ARTIST! - Ergo, it is okay and an excuse to behave the way he does. Is this art imitating life? Or vice versa. For all you Woody Allen fans out there (and I am certainly one of them) this film has moments of hilarity (just like the old Woody Allen movies) and lots of the biographical Allen stuff that presently makes one wince. Perhaps with the passage of time, just like Woody's character Emmet, all that really remains is the art. The rest of the personal stuff becomes folklore.

Acting: Sean Penn has been angry, sulking or brooding for the last ten years. This film is a breakout performance. He is a gifted actor. Samantha Morton (English TV actress and Dreaming of Joseph Lees) is terrific as the perfect girlfriend, who happens to be mute -hmmmmmmmm! Uma Thurman is, as usual, a beautiful cartoon character. She still has a lot of acting school left. The music is the star. A terrific soundtrack.

Pets: A few rats.

Visual Art: A few paintings

Quirky Meter: 4

Length: A perfect 105 minutes