Quick Hit: Some memorable characters and true sage statements about working at night, but the overall story lacks a thread to follow.
Night Job is a feature length film starring Jason Torres as James, the temp night doorman that has the bad luck of drawing his first shift overnight. It’s a pretty looking film, shot in black and white, and allows us to take our time through the film. It is written, directed, and produced by J. Antonio.
The film, as I stated, is shot in black and white, which gives it a nostalgic quality. If I didn’t see the cell phones in people’s hands, it’d be easy to set this as some time in the thirties or fifties. Part of that is the unhurried feel of the film, frequently giving us small moments with different characters that live or work in the building. It also allows itself to be funny at times, particularly with the night porter Romeo. However, I think that at times it goes a bit too far in Romeo’s disgustingness – there is one scene we show him with a hooker that I think pushed past the line.
The acting throughout is a bit of a mixed bag. Jason Torres does well as the lead, allowing us to fall into his everyman status as the audience wonders what our own doorman experiences in the Big Apple would be like. There are also some memorable side characters, a young woman who has come to talk about trouble with men, a man who is dumping his girlfriend, etc. However, I think the sheer amount of characters became overwhelming after a time. It would have been fun to see some of these characters reappear and gain some depth instead of having the majority of them be one off jokes.
This may have come from experiences actually being a doorman. I know as someone that has worked a variety of similar jobs, sometimes crazy people drift into your life for a moment before disappearing, never to be seen again. But, alas, sometimes life doesn’t always make the most entertaining movie, and that’s what I find here.
My final bit of note would be about the soundtrack, which frequently calls to mind, again, the fifties. We get some longer woodwind and brass sounds, but none of it overly classical. Instead, it largely has a blues feel, which almost feels like this could be set in Chicago or St. Louis as well as New York.
An admirable directorial debut, Night Job feels a bit unpolished, but is worth a watch. I’m giving it a “C+”.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"