Film Reviews

Raw Goldblum

Jeff never seemed so vulnerable.

These reviews are part of our continuing coverage of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival:

Pittsburgh. Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBrache directed Pittsburgh, but Jeff Goldblum produced it and came up with the idea. Jeff Goldblum is also the star of Pittsburgh, and the character he portrays is... Jeff Goldblum. As Goldblum, Goldblum goes about his usual business of being famous and dangerously unstable, with the help of his friends Illeana Douglas (Illeana Douglas), Ed Begley Jr.(Ed Begley Jr.), Conan O'Brien (Conan O'Brien) and Moby (Darryl Hannah. No, wait — Moby). As a concept, this is an orgy of self-indulgent celebrity dumbness. As a movie, it's hysterical, and more fun than a blender full of badgers. Most Americans have spent decades wondering if Jeff Goldblum is actually the big-hearted, neurotic, speech-impaired goon that he seems to be, and now we have our answer: He is. He's also a sensitive critter, having an awful nervous breakdown in a dressing room just before film's end. It's heartbreaking to see Jeff Goldblum cry. You want to take him home and feed him Spaghetti-O's. Pittsburgh is a mix of mockumentary and documentary, and you can never quite tell what's real and what's scripted. The film hinges on Goldblum's ludicrous decision to help his Canadian girlfriend Catherine Wreford get a green card by starring with her in a regional production of The Music Man. This actually happened. Weird as it looks on paper, such behavior seems entirely reasonable on a screen. Whether or not this is a solid premise for a movie is another question altogether, but it doesn't matter: Watching Goldblum twitch and stutter through The Great American Songbook is pure pleasure, and it needs no justification at all. (Friday, November 3, 8 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium; 84 minutes)

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Brandon K. Thorp