Chicago, 1993. At his 23 years-old, James Fray is a lost soul stuck in a spiral of auto-destruction due to his addiction to drugs and alcohol. After a night of partying, James accidentally falls off the balcony of the house where he was staying, breaking his nose. When he comes to from his alcohol and drug-fueled high hours later, he finds himself on an airplane headed to Minnesota, to be admitted in Hazelden Foundation, a legendary rehab center for addicts. Reluctant to take any step to address his addictions, in the center he meets other patients in treatment: Leonard, a foul-mouthed former member of the mob; John, a deranged sexual obsessive unable to contain his primary impulses; Roy, a bipolar disorder combined with religious delirium; and finally Miles, a clarinet player and former judge who turns on his roommate. Despite the rules of the center that prevent all contact between men and women, who are treated in different pavilions of the center, James meets Lilly, a beautiful ...Written by
Whatever the truth of Frey's recollections, there can be no doubting the power of what the Taylor-Johnsons put on screen. This is a full-blooded portrayal, beginning with Frey at rock bottom as he collapses after a crackfuelled party session. Bundled on a plane by a doctor - destination: a Minnesota rehab facility - he wakes up mid-air, immediately stealing a whisky miniature from the hostess trolley, downing it furiously. Taken to the clinic by his concerned brother (Charlie Hunnam), Frey has no wish to recover and hates the facility's 12-step programme, showing contempt for others there, including the seen-itall counsellor (Juliette Lewis). His antiauthoritarian streak leads him to another troubled soul, former teen prostitute Lilly (Odessa Young), though their secret assignations inevitably lead to more pain.
More volatile than other recent addiction tales (Beautiful Boy, Ben Is Back), this film has a raw energy to it, putting Taylor-Johnson (the director) squarely back on more interesting terrain than her 2015 bonk-buster Fifty Shades Of Grey. Featuring fine work from Billy Bob Thornton as a flamboyant addict prone to dispensing pearls of wisdom, and an electric ATJ at his most grizzled, this is the sort of film where you just can't say no.
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