After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Connie Nikas embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city's underworld in an increasingly desperate-and dangerous-attempt to get his brother Nick out of jail.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
Motivated by an almost ferocious love for his intellectually disabled brother, Nick, and an explosive mix of desperation and thirst for a better life, the abrasive and fledgeling criminal, Connie, involves his sibling in an ill-conceived bank robbery that swears to be a quick and easy job. Instead, things go utterly wrong, and Nick will wind up in Rikers Island after one unanticipated complication, forcing the desperate but determined Connie to embark on a nightmarish, no-holds-barred quest to bail Nick out. Inevitably, over the course of a long and violent night, Connie will go to great lengths to save Nick from a cruel fate, doomed, however, to do more harm than good. Is it all heading somewhere?Written by
Josh Safdie about the development of the script: "In order to write the genre elements of this thrilling narrative stuff, because this was by far the most plotty narrative movie that we've ever done, and we were excited about that, but we really needed to know who Connie was. So I wrote a very extensive character background that started when his character was born and ended when he enters the movie, basically. And Rob would question these landmarks in his life in a very particular way that would force me to go even deeper into that digression, and then weirdly, it'd become really helpful when we'd get to the fork in the road of the movie and we'd need to know exactly what this guy would do or say because we'd developed exactly who he was. Rob was very involved within the development aspect. When he was shooting Lost City of Z, we'd talk a lot, and I would send him script pages occasionally and then i sent him a first draft, and then I was like 'hold on, I'm going to send you a new draft', and basically change the entire movie, and then I'd send him another draft three weeks later. So he was involved way more than he is in other stuff because most of the time actors get the finished script in front of their noses." See more »
When Connie goes to the hospital to see his brother and is walking down the hall on the 6th floor, individuals are seen in the reflection of the glass. See more »
Don't quite understand the very high ratings for this -- I picture friends of the producer, or interns at the distributor working away to find new ways to praise with faint damns. I saw it at BAM in Brooklyn, and the mostly hipster audience sat in stunned silence throughout - with occasional relieved chuckles at the few flashes of stupidity that came off as funny. Loud, violent, all closeups and menacing pretentious music unrelated to the action.
Pattinson indeed breaks his pretty boy mold, and works very hard - but a lot of "fucks" and running very fast down urban streets does not constitute a breakout performance. JL Leigh does her usual sterling job as a frighteningly dumb victim -- but she was on screen for maybe 4 minutes. The only performance that worked was the 16yo girl Crystal -- Taliah Webster seemed to inherently get the power of underplaying, and she did it brilliantly. Of course, she disappears as the whole mess grinds down, ceding the screen to the boys.
The coda at the end was indeed touching - but not in the way the director(s) may have intended. Actual (?) mentally disabled clients in treatment were shown in a therapy group as the credits rolled -- they were sweet and fascinating, but they were being used - hard - in a commercial film, as a career move by a millionaire actor.
Also, for a story trading so freely in the Queens, NY milieu - the sudden emergence of a large haunted house fun park, setting for a pointlessly violent beating of one of the few interesting characters, followed by giving him a huge dose of LSD -- was ridiculous. Not gritty, just cruel & pointless.
I debated a few seconds between a 2 or 3 rating -- but honesty won out. It's a 2.
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