What a career this guy is having. I’ve been catching up with Boardwalk Empire. It is still beautifully filmed and intriguing enough to keep me interested. It has the requisite sense of menace, especially in the storyline featuring Michael Pitt as a young gangster on the rise, hanging out with the likes of Al Capone. It’s fun to see some of these true-crime personalities like Capone and Lucky Luciano. Who knew that New Jersey and Atlantic City was such an epicenter for crime back in the day? I always knew Atlantic City was a shade sleazy, but didn’t realize Prohibition led the way for it to become such a crime zone.
What is keeping me interested and tuned in is, of course, Steve Buscemi. His multi-layered Enoch “Nucky” Thompson is so interesting to watch. He is a realist. He’s also a tough businessman who isn’t afraid to be brutal if it’s called for. He’s a womanizer. And a romantic. He has clearly fallen for “Irish lass” Kelly McDonald. But in the world he inhabits he can only set her up in style, like “the other concubines.” He can’t be faithful or even reliable enough to keep a date. At least that is the present situation. It remains to be seen if his true love will be his downfall, or what redeems him. McDonald’s Mrs. Schroeder certainly wants him to, if not be a one-woman man, at least not leave her sitting by this new-fangled contraption, the telephone.
It is a bit of surprise to watch Buscemi as a romantic. He has played so many weaselly parts that it is refreshing to see him so in charge, so sure of himself. I’m sure he’s enjoying the change as well, as he is throwing himself into the role. The final scene in last week’s episode when Buscemi comes to McDonald’s house and woos her by simply using her first name for the first time was downright sexy. Yes, Steve Buscemi, sexy.
But make no mistake, he’s still a little whiny underneath it all. But whiny with menace. With regret. With an agenda. I’m looking forward to seeing where his fine whine takes us next.