CERTIFIED WEIRD: Steve Buscemi at his best In The Soup (1992)

In The Soup is the epitome of independent filmmaking. It’s the most Jim Jarmusch film ever made while not being made by Jim Jarmusch (although he does play a small part in the film). It’s a film that’s brainstorming in the text of the script and gives way to its creative impulses by the tragic finale. It’s Steve Buscemi’s (Adolpho) greatest performance ever, as he gets a leading role in an off-beat character-focused hangout film. There is a plot that moves Buscemi from point A to point B, but Seymour Cassel (Joe) constantly redirects Adolpho’s priorities.

The black-and-white misadventure has moments of sheer greatness. For one, Stanley Tucci is in the film for less than five minutes and yet, I’ll never forget his performance. Jennifer Beals, as Adolpho’s romantic love interest, adds the missing layer in the character dynamics – the moral high ground. However, it’s the moral low ground of Joe that makes In The Soup a memorable experience. The friendship between Joe and Adolpho is confusing and contentious, but weirdly endearing.

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