I found out how hard it is to change, really change. Even hell can get comfortable if you're used to it. All I wanted my whole life, was for that lonliness inside me to go away. But, it never did, no matted what I drank, or what drug I took, or where I went, who I was with. We all need something to help us get through life. All I needed was to find the right thing to rely on, something that would never go away, something I would never run out of. Turned out to be the same thing for everybody. ...
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The storyline is the type of thing you find on a Lifetime Network Special or a straight-to-television movie trying to warn about the dangers of drug addiction, but this movie goes so far beyond that. It's not like it adds zany warped realities like Requiem for a Dream or it has some sort of narration keeping the audience completely informed that "this is what you should fear to be", it does everything so much simpler than that: It sits back and lets the actors eat the audience's collective heart out.
The drama in this film is SO UTTERLY CONVINCING. The performances get first prize for portrayals that, even when you want to try and find something wrong with it (I'm guessing this film might be considered too sentimental by some), keep the drama serious and prominent, not allowing the audience to let go of their suspension of disbelief. If it wasn't for the production quality, it would seem like this was a documentary and these were real people. And it's not just Ana and Michael, the two main characters, it's everyone, from the boyfriends to the crack addicts that have two seconds of screen time to everyone.
Secondly, the cinematography and editing are very well tuned to excellence. This movie definitely has the feel of an independent film, but more than that it doesn't have that "Look at me, I'm independent!" feel. Skewed angles and purposeful jump cuts exist stylistically in the film, but they come at the right times and are completely necessary, versus what tends to happen in a lot of independent cinema where the camera becomes relatively self-conscious and goes places it needn't. For example, the hand-held quality of this film is almost invisible, while some independent films tend to show off their independence via hand-held in a wannabe cinema-verite sort of conceit.
It's disappointing that I haven't heard anything about this film before. I literally picked it up because it was the first movie on the first row of the first aisle to rent because I wanted to surprise myself, and whadyaknow but it happened to be a real gem! I hope it builds a bigger audience because it deserves to be recognized.
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