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|William H. Macy||Gigot|
|Ned Beatty||Mr. Gigot|
|Steven Schachter||Director, Producer, Screenwriter|
|Jeff Beal||Score Composer|
|Elaine Frontain Bryant||Executive Producer|
|Jackie Gleason||Original Story|
|Guy Lalande||Production Designer|
|William H. Macy||Producer, Screenwriter|
|Frances Croke Page||Executive Producer|
|David Rosemont||Executive Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
The wool cap is a feel good movie that will reach down into your soul and soften the hardest heart. William H. Macy does a stunning and moving portrayal of his character that will leave you with a flurry of emotions! You WILL enjoy this film that should be seen by the entire family.
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Posted October 1, 2010
Take a Hallmark production and slate it for broadcast during the Christmas season, and most times you have a guaranteed recipe for schmaltz. Fortunately, in the case of The Wool Cap, now available on DVD, the result is an honest, human movie whose gritty edge and powerful performances keep it fresh, even if it is predictable. A remake of Jackie Gleason’s classic, Gigot, the story unfolds along initially familiar lines. Hard luck, crusty, frequently intoxicated janitor “Chico,” played here by William H. Macy, finds himself the unwilling and decidedly unofficial guardian of a captivating, if troublesome, young girl named Lou. But from the beginning Macy the screenwriter does Macy the actor an enormous favor by tossing out the Frank Capra conventions and setting Chico and Lou in the unvarnished (but equally unexaggerated) ghetto. In the opening twenty minutes of this film, at the same time we are getting to know the main characters, we are also getting a feeling for their hardscrabble world of losers, drug addicts, violence, fear and general hopelessness. If the perky, young hooker upstairs seems too pat and too Hollywood, Macy’s screenplay shrewdly balances her with the shopworn, older hooker who reserves Wednesdays for Chico alone…apparently one of only two human relationships Fate and Chico himself have allowed him to maintain. Where earlier efforts along these lines would have had Lou’s parents die in a “terrible accident,” or in an anonymous and random act of war, Macy’s screenplay firmly roots the story in the case files of today, by having Lou abandoned by a drug befogged mother who later dies of an OD. Making the situation all the more grim, Chico is a mute, rendered speechless by a car accident almost thirty years ago. Chico’s other two central relationships are with Ira, his Jewish tenant, played with gusto and undisguised relish by Don Rickles (who else could pull off using the word schmutz?), and “Grace,” his pet spider monkey, who, needless to say, just about steals any scene she is in. But what truly makes this film an amazing feat is Macy’s performance. Without uttering a single syllable, Macy understatedly takes us through the full range of human emotions as Chico resents life, resents Lou, resents her mother, and throughout, resents himself, before finding a meaning and purpose and a dogged determination to rescue the future from the damning grips of the past. It is, without a doubt, a stellar performance. In addition to Don Rickles, Cathrine O’Hara appears in far too few scenes as Chico’s pay-as-you-go love interest, a role she nails with dead on accuracy and Ned Beatty appears briefly but powerfully as Chico’s embittered father. This isn’t great theater or maybe it is. It is touching, without being cloying. It is sweet without being saccharin, and it is reaffirming, without being schmaltzy. It is quite simply a dammed good film.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.