Down to the Bone
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- Commentary by director Debra Granik and star Vera Farmiga
- Debra Granik's short film Snake Feed, on which the movie was based
Top Customer Reviews
Farmiga plays Irene, a wife and mother of two. A functional addict with a job as a supermarket checker, Irene realizes that her addiction is compromising a normal childhood for her children. Even though her husband is also a user, Irene takes steps to clean up her life when she hits a low point by stealing her daughter's birthday check to try and score a fix. The film documents her progress through a rehab program and the subsequent outpatient meetings as she attempts a drug free life. These scenes are played with a simplicity and earnestness. They are very naturalistic and the others involved play as real people instead of character types. There is no emotional grandstanding, just real individuals trying to get a grip on life--however fleeting that control may be. Connecting with a male nurse (and former heroin addict) at the rehab facility, Hugh Dillon in a great performance, Irene sees a success story and perhaps a chance at a clean life.
Not everything is easy on the outside, though, it never is.Read more ›
Once administered she meets fellow junkies trying to break free, including Lucy (Caridad De La Luz) and Bob (Hugh Dillon), a supposed reformed junkie who takes a liking to Irene from day one. The two of them start a heated affair that ends badly when they both fall back into using and are eventually arrested for possession, an act that costs Irene her marriage.
What makes this film stand out from the rest of the drug and rehabilitation films we see year after year is the authenticity in the performance given by Vera, her complete understanding of what her character is facing at any given moment. From her remorse filled eyes as she sits across from her counselor to her complete uncertainty as she stares at her husband and her friends using right before her eyes, offering no support to someone they supposedly love. The environment she's living amidst is part of what breaks her down, herself being the only one determined to change, and it's all but impossible to make those changes on your own.
~I just want to mention that one reviewer stated her husband Steve was 'a nice guy' and that's a statement I wholeheartedly disagree with. The scene I mentioned above alone made me hate him.Read more ›
Vera Farmiga gives an amazing, controlled performance as the central character in the film, who loses both job and husband as she takes up with a male nurse at a rehab facility. Struggling with his own addiction, he jeopardizes her recovery, and the cycle of drug dependence continues. The film develops dramatic intensity without the use of histrionics. Voices are rarely raised and physical movement is restrained, yet emotions crackle under the surface of most scenes. The presence of two totally plausible child actors in several scenes adds a dimension of vulnerability while avoiding sentimentality.
The DVD includes a short film, "Snake Feed," on which the feature film was based, plus a commentary by the director, Debra Granik, and actress Farmiga.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good movie yet it is very very graphic. I bought this movie to be used in my outpatient group and as a clinician I think it is too graphic for use in a treatment... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Charlz
Brutally frank and heart wrenching. Vera Farmiga delivers much more than a convincing portrayal. Very well written and does a wonderful job coaxing your thoughts.Published 8 months ago by Life is Good
This movie captured my attention and held it to the end. Vera Farmiga was so raw and authentic. I watched this last night, and it just stayed with me.Published 8 months ago by Wendy Marie
An accurate depiction of addiction, but not for use in treatment. The sexuality in the movie is a bit much for treatment use.Published 13 months ago by Michael Warren