This strange film serves as a great showcase for Tom Sizemore.
by Martin Hafer
Calico Skies is a very difficult film to describe and it is, by the end, a rather depressing film. But it’s also a pretty amazing movie for its star, Tom Sizemore … and he pretty much carries the film on the force of his excellent acting.
You probably haven’t heard of Sizemore … which is odd as he has over 200 credits and was a often featured on the television show China Beach near the beginning of his career. But he mostly plays quiet roles…roles involving guys who look a lot like anyone else … and he has done it quite well … and has, in his own way, slipped under the Hollywood radar … mostly by choosing to play in smaller and independent films.
When the story begins, you see that the severely depressed Phoenix (Sizemore) lives a life best described as simply existing. His days mostly consist of drinking coffee, taking meds for his psychological problems, exercising, drinking, taking drugs and avoiding making contact with others. This isn’t hard, as he lives in a tiny town in Nevada … in the Mojave Desert.
Slowly, very slowly, you learn more about the man … where much of his depression and self-hate comes from as well as why he lives this existence…and why his feet are covered in tattoos! The answers are interesting … and, ultimately, rather depressing. But I won't say more, as I don't want to spoil the film for you.
The film was written and directed by Valerio Esposito and he is a guy with only limited experience directing and writing. This excited me because it was very well done…especially for a man relatively new to the field. While the film is depressing and left me feeling a bit sad, I appreciated how so much of his story is original. I’ve probably seen more films than anyone you know … and yet several times I was surprised as I watched … reason enough to recommend it. Sizemore’s acting, certainly, is another.
Martin's Grade: B