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Revenge of the Psycho-Nerd

John Hawkes has enjoyed the slow build of his career, often playing miscreants and oddballs. In Small Town Crime, he gets to be a hero, of sorts

MOVIES

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GOLDEN YEARS

A new documentary re-creates the recording of Bowie’s last albums

WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF LASTNIGHT success? Sidling up to it? Or, to borrow from Joan Didion, slouching towards it? Perhaps the latter in the case of actor John Hawkes, whose slow ascent to stardom is thanks to the sort of characters that populate Didion’s short stories—men and women who, Dan Wakefield once wrote, “are neither villainous nor glamorous, but alive and botched and often mournfully beautiful.”

Hawkes was once described as a cross between Sean Penn and a Doonesbury character, and there’s truth to that, but it doesn’t capture the creased soulfulness that makes him ideal for film noir. Like Humphrey Bogart before him, one look at Hawkes and there’s no questioning the particular shit show his character is inhabiting. In his latest film, the hard-boiled comedy Small Town Crime, Hawkes plays alcoholic ex-cop Mike Kendall, booted off the force for getting his partner and a bystander killed while policing under the influence. Long story short: After a typical all-nighter, Kendall discovers the body of a young woman lying by the road and becomes consumed with finding her killer.

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About Newsweek International

In this weeks Newsweek Int. - Whoever built the bombs that were used at the 2013 Boston Marathon is still on the loose. - Legalized pot was supposed to hurt the Mexican cartels, but narcos in California may be using it to plant the seeds of a takeover.