Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Brad Pitt
Calvin Levels
Catherine Keener
Alison Moir.
Directors
Tom DiCillo
Tom DiCillo.
Screenwriters
Tom DiCillo.
Running Time
93 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Johnny Suede
Brad Pitt is the retro-chic rebel without a cause


submit to reddit


Plot
Johnny has the hairstyle, the attitude and the ambition to make it as a retro-rocker ...he's just lacking the shoes...


Review
Johnny Suede is another one of those modest flicks that, despite having garnered rave reviews at 1991 's London Film Festival and the presence of the then Levi's boy Brad Pitt - Mr. Young Buns hot off the back of Thelma (quite literally) & Louise - somehow skipped by unnoticed at the box office. Director Tom Di Cillo, drawing unashamed inspiration from Jim Jarmusch, which is no surprise since he was the cinematographer on Stranger Than Paradise, dishes up the tale of retro-chic dumbster Johnny (Pitt), a rebel in dire need of a cause, whose kicks are gained from digging Ricky Nelson on his Dansette, spanking his plank and sculpting his huge escarpment of a quiff. Inhabiting a sort of post-Eraserhead world, Johnny possesses everything in life except a rock 'n' roll career, a girlfriend and a decent pair of shoes to replace the deeply crap pair of size nines he scuffs around in. And so when a pair of svelte suede loafers land, quite literally, on his head during the process of reporting a piece of sexual harassment to the police (these are, after all, the 1990s), the key is provided to knocking his life into some semblance of shape as he gets his guitar out of hock and reinvents himself as aspiring teen idol Johnny Suede.And that, basically, is it, although Johnny's fate is, of course, neither here nor there. Of far greater interest are the various oddball characters that shuffle in and out of his lonesome existence - principally girlfriends Darlette and Yvonne (the deliciously schizoid Moir and hard-talking Keener) and, with a performance that establishes a new landmark in the field of overacting, Nick Cave as peroxide singer Freak Storm - as various elements conspire to wreck Johnny's dream.As the rock 'n' roll Candide, Pitt is superb, a wholly innocent holy innocent who wanders his spartan flat with his hands down his fulsome underpants, fumbling around his "strictly Plutonic" relationships, while spouting his own brand of psycho-philosophy in a kind of David Lynch meets Hal Hartley fashion - "I'm not into 'now'; 'now' is a fly's fart in the wind" - as he tries in vain to get some kind of handle on the opposite sex, ultimately bringing about his own undoing. Offbeat, stylish and packed with some wonderfully bizarro moments - such as a TV Western full of vertically challenged cowboys and a real gem of a scene in which Johnny attempts to explain away an act of infidelity to a dumbstruck Yvonne - wider access on DVD will, in time honoured tradition, deservedly prod Johnny Suede in the direction of that status marked "cult".


Verdict
Brad Pitt is the best thing in this stylish portrait of a man with a big ambition and a big quiff


Reviewed by Jeff Dawson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)