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Heaven Knows What

Director:  Josh & Benny Safdie
Year Released:  2014
Rating:  1.5

Homeless heroin addict Harley (Arielle Holmes) slits her wrist for the 'love of her life' Ilya (Caleb Landry Jones) but he doesn't seem to care much - after she's discharged from the hospital, she spends her time with fast-talking Mike (Buddy Duress) 'spanging' (begging for change) and shooting up. The Safdie brothers asked Holmes to write about her personal struggles (I'm sure with plenty of creative freedom) and the end product is Crazed Junkies Screaming At Each Other for ninety minutes, with characters so debased and cruel to one another it's hard to find anyone to empathize with (perhaps the dream-catcher lady who takes them in at night ... but that's it). What they do get right is capture the dark, desperate atmosphere surrounding these people living way on the fringe of society, stealing mail for gift cards and selling lifted 5-Hour Energy Drinks to street vendors, and Holmes playing a version of her true self adds to the mystique. But when it comes down to it, heaven knows I could not care less about these drifters.

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