Dir: Tom DiCillo. US. 2006. 107mins.
Neither a spoof of the celebrityindustry nor an earnest appraisal of what this industry is all about, TomDiCillo's Delirious is anintermittently amusing rags-to-riches lark about a small time paparazzo and hishandsome sidekick who ends up a screen star. DiCillo aims his gently pointedbarbs at pop idols and trendsetters and their retinue of advisers, agents, PRs,bodyguards, and other freeloaders. But DiCillo tries to do the impossible,targeting at once the young crowd which dotes on celebrity world and the matureaudience which looks down on it. Neither will be fully satisfied by the filmbut there is plenty in this character-driven study to keep them entertained.DeCillo is a festival favourite and the cast will help get wider theatricaldistribution. The film won the best director and screenplay awards at the SanSebastian film festival last month.

Les Galantine (Buscemi) is adown-at-heel photographer who hustles his way around New York in a bid to findthat one shot that will make his fortune while telling himself and whoeverwants to listen that he is a gifted artist who will one day be discovered. Whennaïve homeless hunk Toby Grace (Pitt) offers to help him in exchange for aplace to sleep, Les immediately accepts, keen to have someone to listen to himspout on about how good he is.

DeCillo is at his best whencharting the growing relationship between his two characters as they get toknow each other (one particularly amusing scene involves a visit to Les'sparents) and go on various assignments. Soon, however, romance enters the frameas teen pop queen K'harma (Lohman) catches a glimpse of Toby while escaping agroup of paparazzi and the two instantly click. Toby is also spotted by ahard-nosed casting director (Gershon), who also gets him into bed, and soon heis on the fast track to fame and fortune.

Playing like an optimistic,PG version of Midnight Cowboy (DeCillohas acknowledged the debt to Schlesinger's Oscar winner), the film avoids sex,nudity or drugs, which comes as a surprise given the its social milieu. But ifLes is modelled on Ratso Rizzo, he remains undefeated, at least in his ownmind, and is still running at full steam in the final reel. As for Toby, hisfuture certainly looks positive than Joe Buck's ever was.

Frankie de Marco's camerawork juxtaposes the gritty reality of New York streets shot in harsh,documentary light, with the fake shiny video-clip style of celebrity glamour,while Paul Zucker's jumpy editing reflects the characters' restless impatience.

Buscemi, in a part writtenwith him in mind, excels as the loser who thinks he's a winner while Pitt looksthe part of the innocent Toby, and Lohman's performance flits between parodyand empathy, just like the film itself.

Perhaps the most significantscene in the film comes after the end credits with Galantine pontificating in aTV interview.

Production companies/backers
Peace Arch Entertainment (Can)
Thema Productions (UK)
Artina Films (US)

International sales
Peace Arch Films

(44) 7299 3727

Executive producers
Jimmy de Brabant
Michael Dounaev
Kami Naghdi
Mark Balsam
Gary Howsam
Lewin Webb
Barry Zimmel
John Flock
Jennifer Levine

Robert Salerno

Tom DiCillo

Frank G de Marco

Production design
Teresa Matropierro

Paul Zucker

Main cast
Steve Buscemi
Michael Pitt
Alison Lohman
Gina Gershon
Callie Thorne
Kevin Corrigan
Elvis Costello
Richard Short
David Wain