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Factotum 15 rating

A distinctive adaptation from the writings of Charles Bukowski, Matt Dillon plays Henry Chinaski, a drunk in search of a paycheque.

Drama 2005 90 mins

Director: Bent Hamer



Factotum follows Henry Chinaski (Matt Dillon), as he drifts from job to job, from factory warehouse to shop floor, working for anyone foolish enough to offer him with a paycheque. While he has no great desire to work, he needs cash to support his real commitments: drinking, racetrack gambling, hooking up with women as unbridled and inebriated as he is, and writing stories that are continually thrown out by publishers.

More faithful to the spirit of Charles Bukowski's reportage from the boozed up margins of society than many previous adaptations, Bent Hamer's first English language feature develops the exquisitely mannered, observational style of his previous award-winning film, Kitchen Stories, creating a stylised view of the writer's world, one filled with humour and despair. Both Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei put in fine turns and provide real depth to the women characters wandering through Chinaski's environment, while Matt Dillon aces what is arguably a career best performance. Beefed up and bearded, his Chinaski is the perfect Bukowskian hero, a complex, deadbeat poet, addressing difficult things in his simple way.