Posted by: kfugrip | April 17, 2007

Rock lifestyle

Clean, by Oliver Assayas is about getting clean from, not only drugs, but also the entire cliche that is rock. Maggie Cheung plays Emily Wang, the wife of a fading junkie rock star. She is also a junkie and introduced her husband to drugs, which the rock media lambastes her for, in print. They have a child, Jay, who lives with the father’s parents. After the husband’s death from an overdose, and her subsequent imprisonment, she attempts to clean up her life so she can develop a relationship with her son.

Heavy stuff? Yes, but not as classically dramatic as the subject matter would indicate. There is an emotional undercurrent to the film that feels honest and true to the struggles of real people. I admire that and was caught up in the tale. It’s interesting that the tension in the film was not strong, and thus not a driving force in the narrative but you cared because I felt as though I was watching real people.

Two great performances by Cheung and Nick Nolte are the real draw here. So believable and great, without drawing attention to how great the performances are… if that makes any sense.

So #56 gets 3 stars.

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