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PINERO

A scalding close-up of the torment that drove brilliant, self-destructive Puerto Rican playwright Miguel Pinero to a tragic death at the age of 41, this is the drama that put Benjamin Bratt on the movie map.

(Now in stores)

CAST: Benjamin Bratt, Giancarlo Esposito, Talisa Soto, Michael Irby, Rita Moreno , Jaime Sanchez, Mandy Patinkin

DIRECTOR: Leon Ichaso


"The late New York poet and playwright Miguel PiO`ero was a thief, a hustler, and a junkie who emerged from incarceration in Sing Sing to become a visionary of the spoken-word school...'PiO`ero' presents us with a man whose life was as fluid as liquid nitrogen, and it's the strength, as well as the weakness, of Leon Ichaso's jumpy, prismatic biopic that the film flouts order and civility as proudly as its sociopathic-angel hero did...the film is worth seeing for Benjamin Bratt's performance. Tall and scruffy-handsome, he makes PiO`ero a proud and wounded figure who squeezes drops of tenderness out of his fury, a tenderness he applies to everyone but himself." --Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Benjamin Bratt effectively obliterates his image as Julia Roberts' clean-cut ex-boyfriend with the often frustrating 'PiO`ero,' in which he plays a real-life playwright, poet and junkie... At times, 'PiO`ero' is annoyingly film school-ish, with shots within the same scene constantly alternating between grainy black-and-white and smeary digital video. Despite the disjointed narrative, Bratt manages to effectively convey PiO`ero's charismatically gritty side--he was a macho bisexual who hustled johns on 42nd Street as a teen and later put the moves on his protE`gE` Reinaldo Povod." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"The movie is so excruciating, you might be tortured enough to go home and paint the kitchen...Pinero shoots up, throws up and gets down. He drinks hard, parties hard and dies young. He digs guys, girls and guys who think they are girls...We're just going to have to take Ichaso's word for it: Pinero (showboatin' Benjamin Bratt) was a Latino icon, a self-described 'junkie Jesus' who was nice to his mom...This character was an abusive swine." --Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

"Observing the world through hooded snake eyes in a fog of cigarette smoke, jabbing the air as he raps out poetry in a sly staccato drawl, Benjamin Bratt resurrects the spirit of the playwright, poet and actor Miguel PiO`ero with the kind of thrilling brio that Dustin Hoffman brought to his screen portrayal of Lenny Bruce 27 years ago...It is a career-defining performance that could catapult the 37-year-old actor beyond bland romantic leads and into the kinds of juicy anti-heroic parts once gobbled up by Mr. Hoffman and Robert De Niro." Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"The film's adroit construction deftly integrates the seemingly disparate and contradictory aspects of Pinero's life, which in turn is mirrored in the bravura portrayal of the writer by Benjamin Bratt, in a breakthrough role...it is distracting to be left to wonder whether he ever tried to break free of substance abuse, and it is one of the few unsatisfying elements in an otherwise outstanding film." --
Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times