6.1/10
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3 user

Down in New Orleans (2006)

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In this tale of redemption, the protagonist must fight to regain the accomplished life he knew before drug addiction and revenge stole his career, woman, and contentment, set in the river life of New Orleans.

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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Dickie
... Jack
... Matty
Gabrielle Sfardini ... Gabrielle
... Lars
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Doper Chick
Albert H. Bongard IV ... Dealer
Matthew Carroll ... Orderly #2
... Salsa Dancer
... Chris
Lisa Cori ... Jenna
... Thug #1
... Salsa dancer
... Bob - License Official #3
Brian Edwards ... Waiter
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Storyline

In this tale of redemption, the protagonist must fight to regain the accomplished life he knew before drug addiction and revenge stole his career, woman, and contentment, set in the river life of New Orleans.

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 January 2006 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

Big Easy Blues
26 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

Jack (Nathan Grubbs) is a blue-collar worker whose job is to steer a barge on the Mississippi River. He's also going through drug rehab. But weak character that he is, one thing leads to another, and he finds himself doing drugs again. This time, his life spirals downward, big time. He's down, in New Orleans. His addiction affects others in his social orbit, including a new wife, his brother, some friends, and assorted drug thugs.

As a result of less than top-notch acting and directing, the film has received terrible reviews elsewhere. But it is a low-budget, indie film. As such, its quality is neither better nor worse than many other low-budget indies. And it has received one film festival award.

My main complaint has less to do with the direction and acting than with the screen story. It lacks both thematic depth and originality. Jack is a jerk throughout most of the story. The screenwriter doesn't give us much reason to root for this guy. Further, Jack's problems are not that much different from the problems of countless others. Ergo, what's the point of the film?

Arguably, the best sequence is in the second half when Jack gets confined to a straitjacket, alone in a detox room. Here, Grubbs gives a credible performance. And although the overall quality of acting throughout most of the film is sub-par, Gabrielle Sfardini does a good job as the wife. The film's color cinematography is fine. And I liked the song played during the title sequence.

"Down In New Orleans" has the apparent distinction of being the last film made in pre-Katrina New Orleans. And I admit that was my motivation for watching the film, which contains some nice views of the city. It's sad to think that some of the neighborhoods shown may no longer exist.

For viewers interested in low-budget, indie films, this one is not as bad as its reputation would lead one to believe. On the other hand, if you're looking for cinematic perfection, you had best look elsewhere.


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