Life can be tough. Paying bills, enduring a dead-end job, raising kids and going nowhere fast. Add a miserable marriage and a crippling drug habit in the dead of winter in small town U.S.A. and you've got the premise for 2004's Down To The Bone. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air, The Departed) stars as Irene, a drug dependant mom to two boys stuck in a stale marriage. After she hits a particularly low point in her life, she checks herself into a rehab facility. But her attempt at sobriety is disrupted when she meets and falls for Bob (played by Hugh Dillon), an equally depressed attendant with whom she feels free to expose her demons without the extra effort of having to hide them. As you can imagine, nothing but trouble ensues from there. Irene must decide whether her balancing act is worth the sacrifice of her children, before she suffocates between the two lives she leads.
Audiences can tell that Farmiga empathized with Irene and it showed in her effortlessly-acted performance. Though it runs slow at times, Down To The Bone showed more the emotional dehabilitation rather than the obvious physical ware drugs took on a small town mom--a dehabilittaion that sliced through the core of her family and her own consciousness. In the end, you feel her pain, her desperation, and her ultimate self-betrayal as she embarks on the fight of her life.
Reel Talk rating: A-