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The Life (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  13 January 2005 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 109 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Two Canadian cops start videotaping the drug scene in Vancouver.

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Title: The Life (TV Movie 2004)

The Life (TV Movie 2004) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arnie
...
Tony
...
Crystal
Nancy Sivak ...
Rose
...
Daryl
...
Matt
...
McTavish
...
Victor Pinto
...
Amber Reilly
...
John Reilly
James Crescenzo ...
Constable (as Jim Crescenzo)
Jada Stark ...
Crack Addict #1
...
Crack Addict #2
Tim Fanning ...
Bagpiper
...
Suzie
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Storyline

Arnie and Tony are partnered Vancouver police officers. They were raised in the Downtown Eastside, where they now walk the beat. The Downtown Eastside is now the poorest neighbourhood in Canada and is riddled with open drug use. They want to be a small part of the neighbourhood's redemption. The current mentality on the force regarding the drug war is to "arrest the dealers, chase the addicts and pretend it's getting better". Using an addict in person at a high school outreach talk gives Arnie and Tony the idea to film real people telling real stories about life in the neighbourhood as an effective way to get the message out to kids about the dangers of even trying drugs. The video ruffles some feathers both amongst the addicts and the police force. Arnie and Tony take it hard when one of the regulars of the neighbourhood and a key part of the video dies; they feel they need to do something grand to acknowledge the lives of the forgotten. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops, two choices... look the other way or break the rules...

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

13 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Fuckin' Down
Performed by The Revision
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User Reviews

 
Possibly the best anti-drug film ever
17 January 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

This TV film is perhaps the best fictionalized anti-drug film ever made. In this feature, one often feels as a participant in the anti-drug crusade these Vancouver policemen undertake. At once, one also feels like an insider cruising the streets of downtown Vancouver's "junkville." The characters rapidly become like old acquaintances, and one sees both sides of the dilemma each time a character or situated is revisited. It is so realistic, at times the film seems more like a documentary. But the film makers were smart to cast Bruce Greenwood (of "Saving Julia" , "The Core", "Ararat" and "13 Days") as a recognizable actor, if not a full fledge Hollywood star, in the lead role.

Mr. Greenwood brings humanity, compassion, and depth to the character - far from being your average drug beat cop in North American movies. The other actors, both from the police group of the cast, and from the drug addicted group, give inspired performances. If I hadn't looked up the other actors film careers, I would have remained convinced they were real life junkies.

That said, none of the roles ever fall into caricature, or stereotype, and everyone's situation is presented without bias, and with none of the preaching possibly to be expected in such a powerful anti drug piece. This is one of those films which proves that there is a difference between Anglo Canada and the U.S.

And also that there is indeed a lot of exceptional talent in Canadian cinema. Mr. Greenwood is not the only example of this, though he's the best known, and a film like this needs at least one known name. From the voting, it seems like it has not been shown much. I expected many more votes and comments. Plus, I saw it on Cinemax Prime (Latin America) in Brazil, which is usually about 6 months behind its powerful U.S. parent, which also brings us HBO and HBO Plus and the rest.

If this film is showing in your cable or satellite area, by all means see it. Don't think it's just an anti-drug film, or "faux" documentary. Watch it for what it is: a poignant and perfectly acted slice of humanity.


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