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A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1970s jazz scene.

Director:

Jeff Preiss

Writers:

Amy Albany (as Amy-Jo Albany), Topper Lilien | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hawkes ... Joe Albany
Elle Fanning ... Amy-Jo Albany
Glenn Close ... Gram
Peter Dinklage ... Alain
Flea ... Hobbs
Lena Headey ... Sheila Albany
Caleb Landry Jones ... Cole
River Ross River Ross ... LaPrez
Taryn Manning ... Colleen
Billy Drago ... Lew
Tim Daly ... Dalton
Myles Cranford ... Desk Clerk
Burn Gorman ... Parole Officer Wiggenhern
Sandha Khin Sandha Khin ... Alain's Redhead
Eddie Rouse ... Group Leader
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Storyline

A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1970s jazz scene.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Decadência de Joe Albany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,500, 31 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$44,500, 21 November 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many promotional posters for the movie feature Glenn Close' name is listed as Glen Close See more »

Quotes

Gram: What the hell is wrong with you, Joe?
See more »

Connections

Features Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Daahoud
Performed by Russ Johnson, Jacob Sacks
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User Reviews

 
A musician's struggle with the needle and the spoon
26 February 2015 | by brchthethirdSee all my reviews

Jazz is one of my favorite types of music, and it's the primary reason I was interested in this film. What I wasn't expecting was a rather sobering portrayal of addiction and dependency. LOW DOWN tells the story (or at least a part of it) of jazz pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes) and his daughter, Amy Jo (Elle Fanning). Joe is in and out of prison for drugs but is still trying to clean himself up. It doesn't really help that the people he hangs around are junkies like him, so he eventually skips probation and goes to Europe. He comes back a couple of years later, but it seems like little has changed. If there's one thing that was frustrating about the film, it was that the characters in it keep on making the same mistakes over and over again. However, the central relationship between Joe and and his daughter kept things afloat for the most part. He truly cares for her and does his best to shield her from the seedy side of the life that he lives, even though she does find out on her own. One breath of fresh air was Glenn Close as Joe's mother. She had a no-nonsense attitude that grounded the film and kept it from descending too low into self-pity and misery. That's not to say that John Hawke's wasn't great, which he is, but his character is so unlikeable at times that it was nice to have some common sense and dramatic counterpoint. Elle Fanning is serviceable as Albany's waifish, slight and asthma-stricken daughter. This is certainly the best role I've seen her in, and she seems to feel at home playing these weakish characters. The only thing I don't think she did convincingly was break down into histrionics when her seizure-prone boyfriend (Caleb Landry Jones) is mistakenly arrested by the police. In terms of characters, many of them in this film are afflicted in some way. Joe Albany (and many of his friends) have heroin, his daughter has asthma, her boyfriend has seizures, etc. We see people when they are at their lowest, but yet the film never judges them. There is only the hope that they will one day rise up again. I will say that this isn't the easiest film to watch, in terms of the characters or the laxly paced story. Some might find it too slow or boring, but this is a character-driven biopic. At times I began to wonder when and how it might end, but when the end did come I was fairly satisfied. I should also mention that this film has an excellent soundtrack and score, and includes some scenes of John Hawkes (apparently) playing the piano. If that wasn't actually him then they did a great job of disguising it. Overall, LOW DOWN presents a tender and sometimes moving look into the life of a musician. Just be aware that this isn't your standard biopic.


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