Wednesday, October 10, 2001


Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Set in the cutthroat world of professional karaoke singers, Jackpot is another dreamy reverie from brothers Mark and Michael Polish, whose Twin Falls, Idaho (1999) established their penchant for funereal pacing, soothing visuals and what seemed to me, anyway, a wholly willed quirkiness. Unlike the films of David Lynch, to whom they’re often compared, the off-center mood and non sequitur plotting of their movies don’t seem to flow naturally from some undigested need, but rather to be cobbled from some calculated place. They seem less like natural oddballs than professional ones. Only the sentimentality, which flows just beneath their arabesque surfaces, seems real.

Jackpot is basically a buddy movie, a tale of the often strained but unbreakable bond between karaoke champ Sunny Holiday (Jon Gries) and his world-weary manager Lester Irving (Garrett Morris). Sunny is a dubious character: On the one hand he’s abandoned his wife (Daryl Hannah) and child to go on a tour of karaoke competitions, sending them a $1 lottery ticket each week for “support,” while on the other he doesn’t seem so much a bad person as a terminally spacey one who actually thinks he can win fame and fortune doing mediocre versions of other people’s songs.

Lester, by contrast, is a live wire. He believes in his boy Sunny, gives him pep talks, minisermons, and motivational shoves. Morris seems to be giving a really fine performance — insinuating, crafty, nuanced. But then in a mise-en-scène so lulling, any sign of life is bound to make an impression.

Opens Friday exclusively at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main, Royal Oak). Call 248-542-0180.

Visit the official Jackpot Web site at

Richard C. Walls writes about the arts for Metro Times. E-mail him at


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Richard C. Walls

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation