Low Down

The daughter of jazz pianist Joe Albany witnesses her beloved father's struggle -- and failure -- to kick his heroin habit.


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  • ★★★½ review by Cogerson on Letterboxd

    This movie has some really good performances from John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Glose, Peter Dinklage and an almost unrecognizable Tim Daly. But this look at the life of pianist Joe Albany, deals with his drug addiction during the 1960s and '70s jazz scene while trying to raise his teenage daughter....IS JUST TOO DAMN DEPRESSING. Does every talented jazz musician have to be a drug addict? Without a doubt this will be a one and done movie for me.....as I think the movie is well done....but I will never return for a repeat viewing.

  • ★★★★½ review by nichy6 on Letterboxd

    It feels like the type of movie that doesn't get made anymore. It feels like a turn down a one way street that you used to travel down but haven’t been around since all the stores closed down and the weeds have grown up over the curb. The last time you saw a movie like this, it was a dream you had after coming home from being away too long. You see yourself 20 years older with your head on your ma’s lap like you did when you were a kid. For a second, you remember having some wisdom about something but you threw that out long ago along with your middle school trumpet and your train ticket out of here. It’s a long drag on a cigarette. It’s dangling your feet off a bridge feeling like your floating as you sway with the breeze. Then the reminder that this isn’t you anymore leaves a look on your face that’s long past wistful. That feeling that you’re nothing but a spoonful of hope, it leaves you low. And the feeling of having that little bit of hope but not knowing exactly what for, or what for at all, that feeling gets you down. And when you look around and realize just how far from some luminous creature you truly are, there ain’t nothing you can do but stop trying.

  • ★★★½ review by bulletproofQpid on Letterboxd

    While it doesn't add anything new to the conversation about drug use in the music world in general and among jazz musicians in particular, Low Down does a decent job of reflecting the tragedy of it. The music is held in such reverence, but for whatever reason Joe Albany and many of his friends can't seem to create it without the need to escape into the empty caress of nothingness.

    John Hawkes is terrific here, per usual, and the supporting cast is more than capable. Standouts include Lena Headey as the mother of his child, Amy Jo and Glenn Close as his mother. Billy Drago, Peter Dinklage and Flea are also very good, but the real star is the music.

  • ★★★½ review by Emily on Letterboxd

    I set fire to the stars & watched my body float above the earth in movements slow & fast at the same time we collided time, space, & an intersection of realities, nine days asleep in a bathtub big enough for two if you laid on top of me, nine days alone in an overcrowded room, you whispered to me that I was your constant muse, abash & love longing I drifted with you for too long, nine days became infinity & infinity lasted three years, last night alone I saw my daughter, blonde & skinny, as she clutched her mother I wondered if this was how it would be, wine bars on Bowery & late night ramen, I could feel the rise & fall of her lungs a room away, mist tents suffocate me on cool January nights where you hands traced my curved spine, now lost boys with gritty fingernails grip at my thighs, your controlling mouth my lust for freedom, before the needle scratches that record we loved so much I'm pretty sure I heard the singer say "why do you have to go & ruin everything" now I lie in a bed big enough for two clutching my chest & fornicating to david bowies greatest hits, blue eyeliner & tubsocked lovers

  • ★★★★★ review by Podrick Barnes on Letterboxd

    Haven't thought too critically about it yet but honestly I was engaged throughout the whole darn film and I must say I loved it.

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