Down to the Bone (2004)

Down to the Bone
Director: Debra Granik
Writer: Debra Granik
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan, Caridad De La Luz
Part of: Real America

Irene (Vera Farmiga) is a mother of two boys, stuck in a rather joyless marriage with Steve (Clint Jordan) and a drug addict. When she even takes her son’s birthday money to buy coke, she realizes that she’s hit her low and goes into rehab. In rehab, she meets Bob (Hugh Dillon), a nurse with whom she immediately forms a bond. But it’s not that easy to get away from her old lifestyle.

Down to the Bone blew me away. Especially Vera Farmiga is a-ma-zing. But not only that, it’s also an honest look at drug addiction, without the usual narratives that often muddy the waters a little bit.

Down to the Bone really gets it all right. Not only does it tell a true story (not in the sense that the things actually happened but that they could and do happen every day, just like that), it tells it well. The whole film is absolutely compelling and you’re immediately drawn into Irene’s life.

I wanted Irene to succeed so badly, I surprised myself. When she gets hooked again (and even worse than before) I wanted to scream (but since I’m moderately well-behaved, I only cried a little bit). During the last scene I barely dared to breathe, hoping that she would have the strength to hold on.

Vera Farmiga completely rocks that role (pun not intended). Her Irene can go from being steady and in control to reckless abandon within seconds – and Farmiga makes every single second work. Hugh Dillon and Clint Jordan were also good, but they just don’t really stand a chance next to her.

In short, Debra Granik made a film for people who (want to) know what being an addict and struggling to leave the addiction is actually like and she did one hell of a job of it.

Summarising: Loved it.

4 thoughts on “Down to the Bone (2004)

  1. Everything you wrote is true with one minor change. Yes Vera was fantastic but why not she sad the most screen time. Hugh Dillon was and is an excellent actor and more to the point Hugh was also amazing

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