The Twenty (2009)

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Carty has a new baby, a tense marriage, and four months of fragile sobriety. When he discovers a twenty dollar bill with a message written on it, an obsession begins. Will it free him? Or destroy him?



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Credited cast:
John Simmonds
Rodney Scott ...
William Arbogast ...
Bartender (as Bill Arbogast)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anthony Cubba ...


Carty Fox has struggled with his drinking and the blackouts that attend it for as long as he can remember. But now, having jumped into the sober world one more time, he attempts to find a tiny handhold with which he can pull himself out of the gloom and into a more normal life. But what does that normal life look like? And how does he learn to live in it with his new son and discouraged wife? For Carty, the answer arrives in the form of a message written on a twenty-dollar bill. A message which, much to the chagrin of his family and friends, begins to intrigue him, to take hold of him, and finally drag him into an obsession. An obsession that leads him on a journey into a Lynchian landscape of shame, rage, and pain. A journey that forces him to reflect on his own life and, perhaps, to catch sight of the shadowy person he has imprisoned for all these years in his drunken state of mind. But will the experience of looking at the man in the mirror set him free or send him over the edge ... Written by Walter Spring

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Drama | Mystery | Romance



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7 March 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Twenty Review: Good stuff
12 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film, The Twenty, might on the surface at first appear an ill-disguised alcoholic biopic, rife with the usual twelve step soul-cleansing triumphs over the curse and all that but, in fact, it's not. That's because it's a cinematic character study, and the obsessive search for good that can break the person looking for something ill-defined suffuses and darkens every scene.

While some deeper development of players might have helped and some scenes are slow, Chopper Bernet's gorgeously shot film and his telling, cinema verite camera style and long, crawling holds on shots conveys a felt and unsettling atmosphere. His talented actors - which includes Bernet in the lead role - render a palpable life of the damned as each person in this small town who the main character encounters struggles with regret or acts they can't undo.

In that regard, it's a realistic depiction of the hardening that can take over lives when it feels like someone should pay the karma, for us, maybe by our hand...but in real life you're lucky if you even get a shot at resolution, or one that clean. The reassuring thing might be that we are sometimes someone else's salvation, and to withdraw from that second chance is to court destruction all over again. Carty Fox of The Twenty, like a lot of us, has no idea where he's headed, and thankfully he doesn't spare us with bromides and fairy tales about how everything turns around when you stop the drinking or act better. Getting clear might just be enough. It's a messy little movie, uneven and raw. It should be.

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