On DVD: 
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Running Time: 
94 minutes

Special Features: “The Making of Factotum” documentary / Soundtrack promotion / Theatrical trailer.

Matt Dilion is Henry, down-on-his-luck writer who’s trapped in a state of depression and partial apathy. He bleakly plods from one job to the next with a drowned will. He meets Jan (Lili Taylor) and figures that he’s found new inspiration and companionship. Unfortunately, he already has a muse in the shape of a bottle.

The performances here were pretty noteworthy. Most drama pieces of this nature tend to overly saturate the atmosphere with oppression to the point that it becomes comical. Thankfully that’s not the case here. While the situations that are portrayed are generally without solace or hope, the scenes themselves aren’t overbearing or demanding. You’re not told how to feel about what you’re watching; you’re just given the opportunity to see.

Dilion is surprisingly simple but very effective as a man whose demeanor is permanently slowed and slightly slurred by a life of smoking, alcohol, and partial despair. Lili Taylor puts in a performance that’s simple and effective as always. I’d have to give he most credit to director Bent Hamer for brushing the mood and style of this picture on his canvas with a light hand and letting the characters live for themselves.

The making-of featurette is the only real extra material but it’s a good half hour long and worth watching once. I think there’s enough to the movie itself that there isn’t a gap left by lack of features. I wasn’t left wanting for more.

This is a surprisingly decent film that would make for a worthy rental. Watch it once and then decide if you’d want to buy it.

Review by Baron Aloha