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 history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.