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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Writer/Director John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, and Philip Seymour Hoffman at the premiere of "God's Pocket," part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, Friday January 17, 2014 at the Eccles Theatre in Park City.
Sundance red carpet photos and review: ‘God’s Pocket’ directed by ‘Mad Men’ star John Slattery
First Published Jan 17 2014 04:13 pm • Last Updated Feb 02 2014 06:27 pm

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"Mad Men" star John Slattery’s directorial debut, "God’s Pocket," is an absurdist and often violent dramedy about gritty, booze-sodden people in a tough Philly neighborhood.

At a glance

“God’s Pocket” premiere

“God’s Pocket,” directed by John Slattery of “Mad Men” fame, made its premiere Friday, Jan. 17, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. The film focuses on one man’s challenge in juggling a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please and a debt he can’t pay.

The cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro; part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

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At its center is Mickey (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a meatpacker with shady methods and, thanks to his buddy Burt (John Turturro), shadier connections. Mickey has to scramble to raise money when his deadbeat son Leon (Caleb Landry Jones) is killed on a job site, and Mickey’s wife Jeannie (Christina Hendricks) wants a nice funeral. Jeannie also wants the truth of how Leon died, so she welcomes the aid of Richard Shelburne (Richard Jenkins), an alcoholic newspaper columnist who quickly becomes infatuated with Jeannie.

Slattery, who adapted Pete Dexter’s novel with co-screenwriter Alex Lambert, wants us to treat these broken, hardscrabble folks as working-class heroes.

Alas, they come off as caricatures who are less authentic than the people in a Bruce Springsteen song.

"God’s Pocket" screens again: Saturday at 10 p.m. at Redstone Cinema 2, Park City; Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Yarrow Hotel, Park City; and Saturday, Jan. 25., at 11:30 a.m. at The MARC, Park City.




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