Despite that curious “Martin Scorsese presents” credit, Brooklyn Lobster is almost entirely home cooked: a movie inspired by the story of a family lobster farm, directed and produced by two of the farm’s heirs (Kevin Jordan, of Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire, and his brother Darren). Perhaps, like the characters in the film, everyone involved feared going franchise would spoil the broth. But outside of the Jordan inner circle, this family-versus-business parable comes across as slight, familiar, and in dire need of seasoning. Danny Aiello plays irritable Frank Giorgio, the longtime owner of a Sheepshead Bay lobster farm that faces foreclosure thanks to a defaulted bank loan. Not particularly sympathetic, Frank talks down to the hearing judge and shouts at anyone with the impertinence to consider buying his company. Frank’s dotcom-chasing son (Daniel Sauli) is on hand to declare his father’s behavior impractical; he also plans to propose to his girlfriend (Heather Burns), a plot development with the dramatic interest of a pile of dead seaweed. Frank’s estranged wife (Jane Curtin) claims to have moved out because “there’s not much to say about crustaceans.” The same could be said of Brooklyn Lobster.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 25, 2005