SIFF Film Highlights: ‘The Encore of Tony Duran’ - October 18, 2011

" 'The Encore of Tony Duran' chronicles the day Tony (Gene Pietragallo) hits bottom and his inspiring rebound"

In the days leading to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (Oct. 19-23), festival co-founder and guest blogger David Moore offers observation and insight into some of his favorite films.

"The Encore of Tony Duran" (WAB Synopsis) chronicles the day Tony (Gene Pietragallo) hits bottom and his inspiring rebound. A victim of personal and financial failure, Tony long ago gave up his dreams of singing. Now, all his work has disappeared. Desperate, Tony sinks to crime to pay his bills, but is incompetent even at that. Withering before the meth dealer, Art (William Katt), Tony is a broken man: robbed, life-threatened and miserable. However, just when his life becomes a nightmare, his friend Jerry is there to guide Tony back.

Jerry (Elliott Gould), a retired Catskills comedian, pushes Tony to face the truth of what pushed him out of Hollywood. He forces Tony to embark on a human transformation, and reconnects him with the dreams of his youth; Jerry makes Tony sing again.

Tony must reconcile with his son, Mike (Cody Kasch). Is Tony's “Biggest Loser” transformation for real? Can Mike believe his father is straight after so many disappointments?

At his middle age, Tony has lived alone too long. Security is out of reach, so he disqualifies himself from love. He can’t bring himself to speak to Leah (Nikki Ziering), a waitress at a local diner. Leah is a faded beauty, looking for something real… and Tony needs to believe he’s real before she can.

In the end-- for all of us-- it's never too late to take the stage and sing, to win someone's heart, to make peace with family, or to grab any dream big or small.

I'm really looking forward to screening this one.