A Buddy Story is the tale of a not very successful solo singer/songwriter's quest for self-discovery. Buddy meets Susan along his journey - his new next door neighbour who is suffering at the hands of her abusive boyfriend, Pete. She seeks an escape from the city and her boyfriend so she, Buddy and Buddy's pet turtle drive out into the open road making a variety of stops on the way; such as the birthday party of an old man turned one hundred, and the rowdy atmosphere of a biker bar! The conclusion of this heart-warming story brings realisation and important understanding of the journey to find happiness.
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Thornton's reserved performance, involving lots of aimless shuffling around town and empty stares into nothingness, is well suited to the rhythms of Solomon's glacially-paced film (which he wrote as well as directed); his Manual a man who, having been unceremoniously dumped back into society against his will (he believes he deserves to stay in prison for his crime), doesn't know how to pick up the pieces of his non-existent life and move forward. With long thinning grey locks and a weathered, creased face, Manual is like a ghost forever doomed to haunt the locale of his greatest error, and when he moves through a subway station tunnel directly after leaving the Big House, it's not surprising to find that the crowds rush past him without acknowledging his presence. Thornton plays the character as though he had shriveled up from the inside out, and his expressions of bemused confusion and timid fright convey the feelings of unwieldy guilt and desperation that plague his conscience.
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