- 1 hr 29 min
Choke is a darkly comedic drama film that was released in 2008, directed by Clark Gregg and based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, and Kelly Macdonald in the lead roles. Sam Rockwell stars as Victor Mancini, a sex addict who works as a reenactor portraying a colonial-era doctor for a living. Victor spends most of his time hooking up with women and attending meetings for sex addicts. However, he also has another, more dangerous habit: choking on food in restaurants in order to get sympathy from the wealthy patrons who perform the Heimlich maneuver on him. Victor has another problem: his mother, Ida Mancini, played by Anjelica Huston, is in a psychiatric hospital suffering from dementia. Victor has a strained relationship with his mother, who raised him in various nursing homes after his father abandoned them both when Victor was a child. Over the years, Victor has become a con artist, taking advantage of people's sympathy in various ways. He uses his mother's illness as a way to scam people out of money, telling them that his mother's medical bills are piling up and he needs their help to pay for them. Kelly Macdonald plays Paige Marshall, a woman who Victor meets at a sex addict meeting. Paige is a doctor who is trying to cure sex addiction through hormonal therapy. Victor begins to fall for Paige, but he also realizes that she may be his half-sister due to a revelation from his mother's former nurse in the hospital. As Victor tries to maintain his scams, make amends with his mother, and navigate his complicated feelings for Paige, he learns more about his past and struggles to figure out what kind of person he wants to be. The film is a dark and quirky exploration of addiction, family, and interpersonal relationships. The performances by Rockwell, Huston, and Macdonald are all strong, with Rockwell's portrayal of the troubled Victor being a standout. The film's tone shifts between humor and drama seamlessly, making for a truly engaging and unpredictable viewing experience. Choke deals with themes of identity, addiction, and the concept of family in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The film offers a unique and memorable exploration of these themes, and is a must-see for fans of dark comedy and character-driven dramas.