×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Auggie Rose

An attractive and intriguing premise is given disappointingly mundane treatment in "Auggie Rose," which starts strongly but falters badly in the later going. Names of Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche probably won't be enough to drag a significant amount of theatrical coin out of this one, but vidbin sales are more promising.

With:
John C. Nolan Jr. ..... Jeff Goldblum Lucy ..... Anne Heche Carol ..... Nancy Travis Roy Mason ..... Timothy Olyphant Officer Decker ..... Richard T. Jones Auggie Rose ..... Kim Coates Eman ..... Joe Santos Noreen ..... Page Moss

An attractive and intriguing premise is given disappointingly mundane treatment in “Auggie Rose,” which starts strongly but falters badly in the later going. Names of Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche probably won’t be enough to drag a significant amount of theatrical coin out of this one, but vidbin sales are more promising.

Goldblum plays John C. Nolan Jr., a successful L.A. insurance mogul with a hot car, attractive girlfriend (Nancy Travis) and upscale lifestyle. But his life changes dramatically one night when, stopping by a neighborhood liquor store, he asks for a particular type of wine. A newly employed assistant (Kim Coates) is sent out back to find the bottle, and, in his absence, an armed man barges into the store and holds Nolan and the store owner at gun point; when the clerk re-emerges with the bottle, he gets fatally shot.

Nolan feels somehow responsible for the violent death of this stranger and attempts to find out more about him. His name was Auggie Rose, he was an ex-con, out of prison only a couple of days after serving 20 years for armed robbery. He lived in a small apartment and seemed to have no friends — until Nolan discovers he had a pen pal, a girl named Lucy who wrote to him when he was in prison and who is now coming to see him.

Nolan goes to the bus depot to meet Lucy (Heche) and finds himself unable to reveal what’s happened to Auggie; as a result, Lucy assumes Nolan is Auggie and moves into the tiny apartment with him. Touched by the love and affection he receives from this innocent young woman, Nolan goes along with the deception, selling his car, leaving behind his business and finding the same kind of work Auggie did, behind the counter in a deli.

Thus far, pic is an involving and interestingly skewed examination of a man given a new chance in life when he assumes another’s identity, but writer-director Matthew Tabak seems uncertain where to take it from there. There are hints that dramatic events will occur, especially with the arrival of the dangerous Roy Mason (Timothy Olyphant), who wants Auggie to join him in an armed robbery. But these plot strands never develop in an intriguing way, and in the end the film just peters out.

Goldblum gives an intriguing interpretation of Nolan, a prosperous man who, almost in spite of himself, starts a new life in fairly impoverished circumstances. Heche struggles a bit with her character of the simple country girl who moves in with a man she thinks is an ex-con with a violent past.

Technical credits are standard for this kind of medium- to low-budget production.

Auggie Rose

Production: A Franchise Pictures presentation in association with Persistent Pictures. (International sales: Franchise Pictures, L.A.) Produced by Dan Stone, Matthew Rhodes, Andrew Stevens, Elie Samaha. Executive producers, Jeremiah Samuels, Mark McGarry. Co-producers, Tracee Stanley, Rick Pacano. Directed, written by Matthew Tabak. Camera (FotoKem color), Adam Kimmel; editor, Brian Berdan; music, Don Harper, Mark Mancina; production designer, Carolina Hanania; costume designer, Wendy Chuck; sound (Dolby SR), Felipe Borrero; associate producer, William Paul Clark; casting, Rick Pagano, Eyde Belasco. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 14, 2000. Running time: 108 MIN.

With: John C. Nolan Jr. ..... Jeff Goldblum Lucy ..... Anne Heche Carol ..... Nancy Travis Roy Mason ..... Timothy Olyphant Officer Decker ..... Richard T. Jones Auggie Rose ..... Kim Coates Eman ..... Joe Santos Noreen ..... Page Moss

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content