By Mike D'Angelo
Updated May 21, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Two by Tucci, demonstrating conclusively that this mercurial character actor/indie director does his best work when he’s reined in by another, equally forceful personality. Winchell, a by-the-numbers HBO biopic directed by Paul Mazursky (Enemies, a Love Story), has little to recommend it apart from Tucci’s Golden Globe-winning performance as Walter Winchell, but that’s nearly enough, given the forceful, charismatic aplomb with which he tackles the larger-than-life story of the big daddy of gossip columnists. Left to his own devices in The Impostors, however, which he also directed (sans the steadying hand of his Big Night co-helmer Campbell Scott, who does appear in a hilarious turn as a German martinet), Tucci has a tendency to speak loudly and carry a big shtick; long stretches of this zany shipboard farce are frenetic without actually being funny.
Winchell: B-
Impostors: C+