Trees Lounge is the 1996 feature film debut written and directed by Steve Buscemi. It features a large ensemble cast of actors, including Buscemi, Anthony LaPaglia, Chloe Sevigny, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film’s black humor, based on examination of characters’ self-destructive behavior, has been cited as an influence by The Sopranos creator David Chase, who later hired Buscemi to direct the “Pine Barrens” episode of the show and to star as Tony Soprano’s cousin Tony Blundetto during the show’s fifth season.
Trees Lounge earned Buscemi nominations for Best First Screenplay as well as Best First Feature.
Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4, stating “Steve Buscemi, who plays Tommy and also wrote and directed the film, knows about alcoholism from the inside out and backward, and his movie is the most accurate portrait of the daily saloon drinker I have ever seen.”