6.7/10
1,986
28 user 26 critic

Down to the Bone (2004)

A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come crashing down.

Director:

Debra Granik

Writers:

Jean-Michel Dissard (additional writer), Debra Granik | 5 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vera Farmiga ... Irene
Hugh Dillon ... Bob
Clint Jordan ... Steve
Caridad 'La Bruja' De La Luz ... Lucy (as Caridad De La Luz)
Jasper Daniels ... Ben (as Jasper Moon Daniels)
Taylor Foxhall Taylor Foxhall ... Jason
Giles Penderghast Giles Penderghast ... Pet Store Clerk
Terry McKenna Terry McKenna ... Gene
Richard Lieske Richard Lieske ... Richard
Hector Vasquez Hector Vasquez ... Hector
Joel Saeks Joel Saeks ... Lars
Lori Berryman Lori Berryman ... Acupuncture Therapist
Walt Bolde Walt Bolde ... Walt
Edward Crawford ... Kevin
Gia Mitchell Gia Mitchell ... April
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Storyline

Winter in hard-scrabble upstate New York. Irene is working class, a mother of two boys, and a user of cocaine. She gets into trouble and checks into a rehab program where she meets Bob, a nurse. After she goes home to her husband and returns to her job as a grocery checker, she stays in touch with Bob and the intimations of an affair begin. By now, she's changed jobs, cleaning houses with her friend Lucy. The temptations of drugs are close at hand. Can she handle sobriety? What about Bob? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Old Habits Die Hard

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug content, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 2005 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Az do kosci See more »

Filming Locations:

Bearsville, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,352, 27 November 2005

Gross USA:

$19,723, 8 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Extension of Sundance Film Festival Award Winning Short SNAKEFEED. See more »

Goofs

Anytime the aquarium and snake are shown with the actors, it has wood chips in it. Whenever the snake is fed, it only has newspapers and rocks in it. See more »

Connections

Remake of Snake Feed (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Insincere
Written and Performed by Me, Him and a guy named Tim
Courtesy of Me, Him and a guy named Tim
See more »

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User Reviews

 
like a snake from her empty skin
4 December 2010 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

I saw this because I enjoyed the intense experience of Debra Granik's more recent film, "Winter's Bone". This film, similarly titled "Down to the Bone", covers somewhat the same emotional range. It is a very bleak story, but not entirely the most accomplished one. The problem with attempting an unpredictable story of addiction is in following the predictable life of an addict. This film is neither complex enough or well executed enough to really give us a new way of seeing things. Better cinematography could have helped. Using very cheap digital equipment (though probably more high tech as of 2004), Granik and cinematographer Michael McDonough take "Down to the Bone" in a more vérité-style direction. But the production values are low and poor even by normal documentary standards. This is a style that would only have great merit if this truly was a documentary, and not a dramatic film. The use of a soundtrack and other cinematic devices detracts from any possible grittiness that could have added to the feel.

The truth and power lies in the acting, as understated as it is here. It's refreshing to see human lives without a lot of exaggeration or demonstrative emoting. Vera Farmiga is the best thing going here, and I found her style compelling. The other performances are all good, and never feel any less than real. In the end, something about this film feels unfinished. Debra Granik has gone on to do a much better picture with "Winter's Bone". This is in interesting starting place, but it just isn't enough more than that.


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