Big Heart City
'I Tell Myself Not to Give Up!' Whispered over beautifully grainy images of a racetrack and it's shuffling, ever hopeful denizens. The first words of Ben Rodkin's Big Heart City draw US immediately into the troubled head of Frank Polowski, from which the films gritty tone springs, as he returns from jail to the cracked concrete fringes of industrial Los Angeles to pick up the pieces of his interrupted life. He cons his way into a warehouse job, thanks in large part to the knowing good graces of it's foreman, played by indie icon Seymour Cassel, but at home he finds the girl he expected to be waiting for him long gone. As Frank follows clues, real and imagined, to her whereabouts, perseverance gives way to obsession and paranoia. Assisted by Shawn Andrews' compelling performance at the film's center, Rodkin weaves an engrossing and ultimately redeeming portrait of lost souls searching for their place in a hardscrabble world.