Delirious

Critics Consensus

A funny, energetic satire of the paparazzi life and the entertainment industry, Delirious is another winner for indie helmer Tom DiCillo.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 60

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,462
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Delirious Photos

Movie Info

Small time celebrity photographer Les Galantine has a big mouth and big dreams, but he can't quite talk himself into the right parties to get that one great exclusive photo. He meets Toby, a homeless kid who is drawn to the bright lights of New York City and "hires" him as his assistant. Les pays Toby nothing but room and board but the two are drawn to each other and become friends. Although Toby enjoys the glamour and excitement of Les' lifestyle, he has dreams of his own--to become an actor. Luck intervenes for Toby when he accidentally meets K'Harma Leeds, a beautiful pop diva. As their unlikely love blossoms Toby finds himself torn between a chance to follow his dream and to fulfill his obligations to Les. This conflict deepens when Toby leaves Les and lands a part on a reality show, partly by sleeping with the show's casting director Dana. As Toby's fortunes continue to rise, Les tries to reach out, while also maintaining a bitter resentment toward his former protégé.

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News & Interviews for Delirious

Critic Reviews for Delirious

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Delirious

  • May 14, 2011
    I always jump at the chance to watch Steve Buscemi work, and here he is at his most acerbic self, playing a paparazzi with delusions of grandeur opposite Michael Pitt who does a creditable job as Toby, the homeless young man that Buscemi takes in (and takes advantage of). The story ostensibly is about their relationship - that of a loser who gets a chance to play Svengali to a naive yet grounded young man who had come to New York hoping to find an acting gig. While this story is interesting what makes the film compelling is that it really gets inside the media/stardom riff. Buscemi's character "Les" (hint hint) points out that those that take the picture are just as important as the stars themselves, because without the pictures there'd be no magazines and without the magazines there'd be very little to keep the stars in the spotlight. The film further exposes the stardom hierarchy (as perceived by the stars themselves). There's A list and B lists galore, and even an "all access" press pass has levels of true access. It's this farcical nature and twisted reality that Les rails against (in Buscemi's own brash, yet wounded soul way); although his tough exterior hiding a pitiful guy with low esteem riff does get a bit tired by the end of the film. He keeps telling Pitt that the stars are no different from you and me, but yet gets completely tongue tied when he gets the chance to meet Elvis Costello. Yep, Les is a sad loser, one of those who exist on the fringe of society - wanting to be noticed, but without the charm and charisma to make it happen. Even his small victories seem hollow as his parents totally dismiss the fact that one of his pictures got a quarter page spread in one of the trash weeklies. The film also features Alison Lohman doing a nice turn as a coddled Britneyesque music star that the story of Toby and Les revolves around. The film pokes fun at this type of character by showing a compellingly bad music video of her latest "hit", and then later as she and Costello discuss doing a musical about the life of Brittney Spears - life imitating art, imitating crap. Gotta love it! Overall I felt that the film could have been tighter. There were scenes that went on too long as if searching for some magical riff that never occurred, and at times the pacing dragged, but overall, while stylized, it did give an intriguing look into the star machine while also offering solid performances by the two leads.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2011
    This might be a variation on the rags to riches story, but it is also a charming, touching, and insightful look at the world of celebrity, mostly from the perspective of a photogrpaher. He prefers the term "licensed professional", but it is obvious that Les Galantine (Buscemi) is just an obsessive compulsive and desperate member of the oft-loathed paparazzi. One day he crosses paths with an odd homeless actor named Toby (Pitt) who is genuine, maybe a little off, and aimless. Les takes Toby under his wing, providing him with food and shelter, and a job as his assistant. Along the way, Toby gets a break, and his friendship with Les goes downhill. I thought I knew where this film was headed, but then became surprised when it started to take a dark turn. I was even more surprised when the ending took where I thought it was going and suddenly turned the other way. Good job, DiCillo. I salute you. Buscemi and Pitt are amazing, and the support cast, including Kevin Corrigan, Gina Gerson, and Alison Lohman are likewise fantastic. This has indie film plastered all over it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's insightful and engaging without being pretentious, and it doesn't feel forced or fake like a Hollywood version might. Give this one a shot. It's pretty good, and kind of puts things into perspective as far as celebrity photographers go. I'm not saying I totally respect those people now, but it makes me not hate them as much.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    I really enjoyed this movie. Hollywood has always fascinated me. Watching both sides of the celebrity vs. paparazzi issue was quite interesting. Good acting. Good storyline. Very enjoyable, in my opinion.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2009
    Calling all Steve Buscemi fans! I started watching this movie on cable quite by accident. In the opening scene I thought I recognized a friend of mine in a minor role and while waiting for him to reappear and see if it was in fact him I found myself captivated with this brilliant little indie until the end. Steve Buscemi is one of the best, and most interesting, American actors today. (Check him out in his early role as Nick in "Parting Glances" from 1985.) He elevates the level of every movie he does. Although, this film doesn't need any help from him. It's good. REALLY good. It is a character study. And as with most character studies the characters studied are somewhat unpleasant and maybe not very sympathetic. But in this movie they are well worth taking a closer look at. Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) is the dregs of the paparazzi. He lives in a crap hole apartment in a bad neighborhood and the only thing worse than the neighborhood he lives in is the inside of his apartment. He has horrible parents whom he still visits and has attachments to. And when we see the three of them together it is very sad. A homeless guy named Toby (Michael Pitt) weasels his way into Les's life, and his crap hole apartment, and is eventually promoted from non-rent-paying roommate who sleeps in the closet to paparazzi's assistant. Had enough yet? There's more. Wait until K'Harma Leeds, pop diva, shows up with her entourage. At one point we see her sitting before a Magnus Chord Organ, (like the one I got for Christmas in 1974), composing her next hit. When we later see her perform it at a music awards show we realize what a joke it was that she agonized over whether to use the word "searching" or "looking" because her ONLY talent is that she lip syncs and dances like a stripper, i.e. a pop diva. The relationship between Les Galantine and Toby is the centerpiece of the story. Les is needy and repulsive all at the same time. He perspires desperation and fear of abandonment. Toby, goes with the flow. And the flow eventually takes him from homeless guy, to pop diva hanger oner, to star of his own really really bad TV show called "Toby" where he plays a homeless serial killer, named Toby. And just a quick reminder here, his name in real life is Toby. This show is so bad they couldn't even be bothered to imagine a different name for the main character so they just used the name of it's "star". His rise to stardom, his romantic intrigues, and his "go with the flow" style of living, are all expertly written as commentary on the vapid lives and personalities of people who are famous for being famous. The writing and directing, by Tom Dicillo, is witty, poignant, and surgical in it's precision. There is not a wasted word or moment anywhere. Steve Buscemi is great in everything he does. He is brilliant in "Delirious" . Michael Pitt plays Toby with a warmth and sympathy that makes the process of getting a closer look at those around him tolerable. Honestly, I don't think I'm in the "Michael Pitt demographic", and I've never really gotten him as an actor, until this film. He expertly ties all the disparate elements of these characters, Les Galantine, the talentless pop diva (Allison Lohman), the casting agent (Gina Gershon) and their stories, together in a very compelling performance. I have way big respect for him now... It is not explicitly spelled out but I would like to go on record here to say that I think Les Galantine is gay and in love with Toby. And although that's not central to the story line it does inform us, somewhat, about this sad injured creature. Steve Buscemi, as Les Galantine, is hard to watch and hard to pull away from from beginning to end. That's talent. Equal credit has to go to the writer/director Tom Dicillo. The story, sometimes mocking, sometimes tender, is written and executed perfectly. The pace is perfect. When it's done you don't even know where the time went. If you like well made, interesting movies, with gobs of talent from beginning to end, watch this one. The ending will surprise you, and the journey is well worth it no matter what. By the way, my friend was not in this movie, and the character I thought he was playing never showed up again...
    MisterYoda ? Super Reviewer

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