A Brooklyn cigar shop is the setting for this drama from director Wayne Wang that interweaves the stories of several characters that have fractured family relationships in common.
Harvey Keitel is Auggie Wren, poetic owner of the Brooklyn Cigar Company, a store that he considers the center of the world -- a place where all of humanity eventually parades through. One of his regular customers is Paul Benjamin (William Hurt), a writer and a broken shell of a man whose pregnant wife was shot and killed near the store.
When Paul's life is saved one day by a young black man named Rashid (Harold Perrineau, Jr., the writer and his rescuer strike up a friendship and begin searching for Rashid's long-lost father (Forest Whitaker).
At the store, Auggie is surprised by the appearance of Ruby (Stockard Channing), an ex-girlfriend who informs him that her pregnant, drug-addicted daughter Felicity (Ashley Judd) may also be his -- and is in dire need of help. Screenwriter Paul Auster based the script for Smoke on a 1990 short story he wrote for The New York Times.
He also wrote and directed the film's sequel (of sorts), Blue in the Face (1995).