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Movies
'ONE'

New films off the beaten path

Friday, October 13, 2000

By John Hayes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

One chance. One love. One man's personal story, but which one? First-time filmmaker Tony Barbieri's "One" teases and tricks as it follows two life-long friends as they're reunited and slowly separated as their lives follow different directions.

 
 
'ONE'


Unrated

2 stars

   
 
On first blush, "One," opening at the Loews Waterfront, seems tentative -- a slow-moving tale that takes forever to provide back-stories. Co-writer Barbieri's penchant for around-the-corner shots seems gratuitous until the final scene, when it finally becomes apparent which "one" Barbieri is really focusing on.

The cinematography tells much of the story as Nick, a washed-up former baseball player, and Charlie, a former convict recently released from prison, are reunited after a long separation. But the years and their experiences have changed them, and "one" seems to have a future, while the other alienates almost every-"one."

Barbieri's slow, creeping, voyeuristic camera work seems to be style over substance until the tables turn and several understated shots and little dialogue explain the filmmakers' motivations. It's a long wait, however, until the story gels. Barbieri makes his statement, and it's a valid one, but the story's sluggishness is uncomfortable, nonetheless.

As co-writer, Jason Cairns deserves some of the blame for "One's" plodding pace, yet his acting is one of its greatest virtues. While his straight-arrow character could have been played as a Goody Two Shoes, Cairns makes Charlie believable, particularly in his strained relationship with his old friend.

Kane Picoy, a fledgling film actor who's done some TV work, is convincing as a physically talented jock whose arrogance has ruined his life and grates on those around him. Nick and Charlie bond in that typically "guy" way -- insults, ridicule, pushes and shoves that say "I love ya, man."

In minor roles Paul Herman plays Nick's dad, a stereotypical sports father who still pampers and emotionally abuses his grown-up son. Autumn Macintosh is sweet but two-dimensional as Charlie's love interest.

If you're only going to see one film this fall, this isn't the "One." But if you don't mind a long setup for a meager return, or just get off on European-style film work, check out this "One."



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