Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage made his directorial debut with the 2002 theatrical release, Sonny. Meet Sonny and his mother Jewel. Sonny has returned from the Army to his mother's loving arms, to the sultry, sor... more »did streets of New Orleans, to his mother's whorehouse. He's one of Jewel's most sought-after "employees," but he's thinking about a career change. Sonny is back to start his life anew. Maybe with Carol, one of Jewel's girls, and one of the few who dream of a life outside "the life." Or maybe in Texas, where the promise of a real job seems almost too good to be true. Until now, he's survived in a business where women pay to sleep with him. But how much will it cost to set him free?« less
Cage' Disappointing Debut as Director;Still Stanton is Great
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 06/17/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Sonny," Nicholas Cage's debut work as director, is about the titular man (James Franco, "Spider-man") who has returned from army to his hometown, New Orleans. The time is 1981, and in front of the house he stops, to meet his mother again (played by over-the-top Brenda Blethyn). And Sonny, fed with his previous life as gigolo in there, confesses that he is going to have a day job in another city.Now you get the drift of the story. You see, Sonny will find the tough reality, and the easier way of life is more congenial to him. And there is a love interest, love possibly a true one, in a girl played by Mena Suvari. Against the backdrop of the streets of New Orleans, Sonny tries to find the meaning of life in his easy lifestyle.The purpose of the film is honorable, but the result is nothing remarkable. The problem is, sorry to say, the directions of Nick Cage, who let the actors indulge in each scene too much. The emotional tensions between characters do not go up; the story is too slow, and the result is too predictale. And most of all. the bad acting from many. I don't name names, but when the character looks laughing when he is supposed to be crying, there is something seriously wrong with that.But there is one great thing about "Sonny," and that is Harry Dean Stanton, who plays "Henry" a perpetual loser, who gets so accustomed to being loser that one small win at a card game (against Seymore Cassel) literally sends him to the Heaven. Into Henry's weather-beaten face and down-trodden life, Harry Dean Stanton infuses the life, and even something sublime and noble. Simply great.According to the press material, the script was offered to Nick Cage about 15 years ago (as actor), and that explains the similar atmosphere to the 80s films like "American Gigolo." Like that film, "Sonny" shows the languid feeling of the anti-hero, but finally goes nowhere."
Dorrie Wheeler | 10/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"James Franco plays a very attractive former military man who returns home to his less than stellar family. I loved this movie. It was original and something different. James Franco deserves some indy awards buzz for his portrayal of Sonny. Nicholas Cage did a great job with his directorial debut. There is not much I didn't like about this film. It was something different and I appreciated that. Nick Cage also shines in his brief cameo in the film."
James Franco shines
Candy | Jacksonville, FL | 08/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You really do not want to miss James Franco's soulful and raw portrayal of Sonny. This movie would be easily forgotten by most people after watching it, if it weren't his performance that fleshes out this character and burns him into your mind. A very passionate, gritty, and sad movie. Worth watching."
J. Aguiar | Boston | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite absolutely being obsessed with James Franco, this movie was really great. The direction by cage is great and i ab. loved the ending. The only thing i found irritating was Sonny's mothers accent and overzealousness. Worthwhile film! loved it."
James Franco doesn't disappoint
S. Noggle | Cincinnati, OH | 05/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was very moving, and absolutely fantastic. James Franco does an amazing job, and is definitely one of the most underrated actors around today. The storyline of the movie at times seems almost ridiculous, mother-son prostitution and so on, but it really does bring a combination of many things: tragedy, drama, & even comedy. I would definitely recommend this to James Franco fans."