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With: Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan, Caridad 'La Bruja' De La Luz, Jasper Daniels, Taylor Foxhall
Written by: Debra Granik, Richard Lieske
Directed by: Debra Granik
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 104
Date: 01/15/2004

Down to the Bone (2005)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Junk Cut

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

If you're a movie list watcher and an awards junkie, you've probably noticed that the Los Angeles Film Critics chose Vera Farmiga as the year's best actress for her performance in Down to the Bone. If you're like me, you'd never heard of either her or the film, but now the Roxie (3117 16th Street, SF) corrects this oversight by opening it today. Shot on grungy digital video, Down to the Bone is an unusually coarse depiction of drug addiction and the rigors of rehab. Totally lacking the romanticized sheen of Hollywood productions like Clean and Sober (1988) and 28 Days (2000), the new movie focuses on Irene, a supermarket worker and mother of two whose secret cocaine use has become part of her daily routine. One snowy night she reviews her life and decides to check into rehab, where she meets Bob (Hugh Dillon), a male nurse and a recovering addict. Bob seems like the pillar of stability that Irene needs, but the movie takes us down an unexpected path with riveting skill and a refreshing lack of easy answers.

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