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'Factotum' a Satisfying Blend of Sensibilities

Factotum is a delicate melding of a trio of different sensibilities you wouldn't think would naturally cohere.

It gracefully combines the bleak world of the despairing poet and novelist Charles Bukowski with the droll point of view of Norwegian director Bent Hamer, and the distinctly American independent acting style of stars Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor. They play, respectively, Henry Chinaski -- Bukowski's alter ego -- and his enabling girlfriend.

What results is surprisingly satisfying, true to both Bukowski and the movie itself.

The works of Charles Bukowski have been adapted for the screen several times, most notably in the 1987 film Barfly, which starred Mickey Rourke. Bukowski's second novel was the inspiration for Factotum.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

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