Where God Left His Shoes bu Salvatore Stabile

Where God Left His Shoes bu Salvatore Stabile
Keeping hope alive for hope's sake is the message of Where God Left His Shoes, also becoming practical advice for the audience. Picked up by IFC Films after festival runs, Shoes documents the story of a family led astray by a failed patriarch. Details of the family dynamic emerge slowly and without trumpeting, allowing for the various predicaments to feel natural, even as we wish for a turn of luck. John Leguizamo plays Frank Diaz, a boxer and Desert Storm veteran who loses his spot on an upcoming card, which was the family's only source of income for the upcoming Christmas season. From there, the family spirals further into poverty: living in a shelter, shoplifting clothes and panhandling on the street. The story is easily off-putting at first — why should audiences care about this stubborn loser who continually makes his family suffer for his pride and ineptitude? By the end, the question is answered more subtly than expected. Coping with the pain and humiliation of failing to provide a home for his family, Frank can only provide them with the same hope he retains for himself. Leguizamo inhabits this character bravely and is backed up by an able supporting cast (David Castro is particularly keen as Frank's stepson). Salvatore Stabile, who wrote, directed and co-produced the film, doesn't provide an easy solution for Frank's demons. There are brief references to Frank's illiteracy and war history but the film gradually builds the spirit of hope rather than dwelling on blame. Stabile, a television veteran who cut his teeth on slick-but-gritty dramedies like The Sopranos and Rescue Me, can't help but imbue his scenes with a feeling of television-style pathos, but he doesn't let his characters off the hook with schmaltz either. Like troublesome family members, Where God Left His Shoes may require some patience but the faithful will likely receive warm-hearted gratification for their efforts. (E1)