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Review: Milwaukee, Minnesota (2003)

Milwaukee, Minnesota (2003)    

Directed by: Allan Mindel

Premise: A young man with cognitive disabilities (Troy Garity) becomes the target of three con artists when his mother is killed.

What Works: The film is similar to Fargo in its tone but this is a better picture. The characters are more interesting and the mystery is thicker and more textured. Garity’s performance as Albert invokes the proper amounts of intelligence, humor, and dignity and does not stoop to the sentimental and exploitative levels of other films of this kind such as Radio. The film is also able to get maximum mileage out of Albert’s relationships to other characters, especially Tuey (Alison Folland) and Jerry (Randy Quaid).

What Doesn’t: The film does miss some of the opportunities to expand its scope, but its focus is on the principle characters. 

DVD extras: Interview with the director, commentary track, and a trailer.

Bottom Line: Milwaukee, Minnesota is a highly textured film that successfully portrays a man with cognitive disabilities. It does not exploit this for comic value but rather uses it to add to character and increase the conflict of the narrative.

Episode: #100 (June 11, 2006)