The tales of a city cigar shop.

“To make up a good story you have to know how to push all the right buttons,” says William Hurt’s disenchanted writer. Wayne Wang and Paul Auster’s unhurried slice-of-life drama does just this.

Set around a Brooklyn cigar shop run by Harvey Keitel, it’s a loose series of vignettes that play on themes of friendship, family and the need to help others.

Cracking support (Jared Harris, Forest Whitaker, Stockard Channing) pops by in almost every scene, while Auster’s script is sometimes too neat but always compassionate. Like a good cigar, it’s a film to be savoured.

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