"Assisted Living" chronicles a day in the life of Todd, a janitor who spends his days smoking pot and interacting with the residents for his own entertainment. Todd's detachment from his surroundings is compromised only by his unlikely friendship with Mrs. Pearlman, a resident who begins to confuse him with her son. On this particular day, Todd must choose whether or not to play the part. "Assisted Living" is shot and staged in a real nursing home and gains much of its unique effect and style from the participation of actual residents and staff members. During much of the film, it is impossible to distinguish between what is real and what is fiction. Written by
I empathize with a few reviewers who have described what it is like to put a parent in a nursing home. My brother is a doctor, and we recently had to put our father, a war veteran, into assisted living; this is such a pertinent theme today; American families trying to help aging parents. (With no help from insurance companies).
This indie film is well-presented, in that Todd, well portrayed, is a caring person, disillusioned with his life and job.
He empathizes with an Alzheimer's patient, Mrs. Perlman. She misses her son, and for some reason identifies with Todd. We see the cold impersonal staff at the home, as Mrs. Perlman tries to make a phone call, and the nurse on duty patronizes her, telling her to go to her room and lie down.
Kudos to the director, addressing a taboo subject. This film is one of the few worth buying, I was very moved by the performances (some of which are real patients at an assisted living facility in Kentucky). 9/10.
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