Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) stars in this unfortunate, misguided, sad film, based on a puny, weary working class town imbued with minor minds, alcoholic imbeciles, petty miscreants and derelicts. Directed by John Slattery, Jr. “God’s Pocket” (a metaphor for the mundane, struggling average man, in need of spiritual guidance, protection); Hoffman is “Mickey Scarpato” a meager thief confronted, confounded by the deserved death of his stepson “Leon” (Caleb Landry Jones); an unbalanced piece of human detritus, unworthy of being on the soles of God’s shoes, let alone in His pocket.
Lacking alacrity the plot sinks into the predictable: Leon’s mother “Jeanie Scarpato” (pneumatic, zombie depiction by Christina Hendricks), induces the village idiots to delve into Leon’s suspect demise; seduces, perpetually inebriated “Richard Shellburn” (talented Richard Jenkins), a newspaper columnist, the only individual in this “god”forsaken town with an IQ over sixty, to write about her ne’er-do-well progeny.
Forlornly, watching Philip Seymour Hoffman: tired, overweight, passionless, foreshadowing his untimely death; his supernova long spent; his genius plagued by demons. Skip “God’s Pocket” and remember him in his halcyon roles: “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”, “Capote”, “Doubt”, he ultimately was and shall forever be, “The Master”.