Paul Sparks, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Hock, Michael Shannon, Gary Wilmes, Annie Parisse / Fiction / English
Love is the drug, in a heartrending urban drama.
'You're in the privileged presence of a genuine hasbeen.' So says 32-year-old heroin addict Baylis (Paul Sparks), who patrols the wintry New York streets in search of his next fix in writer-director Adam Rapp's searing drama, based upon his own acclaimed stage play. Played by Sparks with a scraggy charisma and hangdog melancholy (the causes of which are commendably left unexplained), Baylis finds a final shot at redemption when he falls in love with 17-year-old runaway Froggy (Gillian Jacobs, in a performance of raw vulnerability). Exuding an authentic tang of urban realism, the film drifts between run-down squats and low-rent bars in the small hours of the morning, to create an achingly poignant portrait of two damaged people facing down both an indifferent world and their own demons. It is necessarily harrowing, but there are touches of deadpan humour, a sweetly-sad indie-flavoured soundtrack (including contributions from Rapp's band Less) and a keen sense of lyricism.
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