Home is where you hang your head, isn’t that the old Groucho joke? Michael Cuesta’s “Roadie” plays as a mirror-image “Young Adult” as middle-aged Jimmy Testagross (Ron Eldard) is dumped after decades of working for Blue Öyster Cult in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a tour. Off he slinks, in pain and denial, to the family homestead in Queens. Eldard’s tender to the touch as the middle-aged burnout, and supporting turns by the rest of the cast, especially a big, crude, mean, funny Bobby Cannavale, the bully who never grew to be a man, are fine. As a unique tale? Not so much as one might like going on there. Cuesta’s earlier work, “L.I.E.” (2001) and “12 And Holding” (2005) showed a sure hand not always in evidence here, but there are some scenes of mighty discomfort I’m pleased to have witnessed but not experienced. Three words: Motel. Room. Scene. Worth the price of getting either sober or very drunk afterward. With Jill Hennessy, Lois Smith, David Marguiles, Catherine Wolf. 96m. (Ray Pride)
“Roadie” opens today at Brew & View.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.