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Low Down

Drama . Music . Biography

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

Actors: John Hawkes , Elle Fanning , Glenn Close , Peter Dinklage , Lena Headey , Flea , Tim Daly , Caleb Landry Jones , River Ross , Taryn Manning
Directors: Jeff Preiss
Country: USA
Release: 2015-01-27
More Info:
  • Kenneth Turan

    Low Down is one from the heart. It's a melancholy, evocative, beautifully made memory piece, unblinking and unromanticized, a lovely film that brings great emotion and a dead-on feeling for time, place and recaptured mood to a story that is as universal as it is personal.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    A tough-minded, empathetic portrait of dreamers on the edge.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    A very good jazz movie and a very good heroin movie, if indeed there's much practical difference between the two modes—and perhaps there isn't. Full Review
  • Mary Houlihan

    A perfectly cast film that depicts a moody world of jazz musicians, drugs and self-destruction.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Josh Kupecki

    Low Down is a wonderful downer of a film that fits quite comfortably on the video-store shelf between "Barfly" and "Drugstore Cowboy." That said, depending on your proclivity for plunging into the cinematic depths of despair, your mileage may vary.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Brad Wheeler

    Two jazz films won awards at Sundance this year. One of them was "Whiplash"; the other was Low Down, an expressive but somewhat lacklustre first feature from Jeff Preiss. Neither movie is about jazz.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Uplifting, it's not. But Low Down is a worthwhile look at a deeply flawed man, his daughter, and the unusual bond that existed between them.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Nicolas Rapold

    Low Down stumbles into the pitfalls of both addiction narratives and observer-style autobiography, even if Ms. Albany’s memoir suggests even rougher times. But it still catches in-between moments of closeness that aren’t always seen or heard.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    Fanning manages to bring soulfulness to a character who mostly reacts to others; you just wish the whole movie were, well, jazzier.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Amber Wilkinson

    The film hinges on the bond between dad and daughter and on the expressive face of Fanning, as we see her shift from a sort of nervous adoration of the unpredictable, if loving, Joe, to something more steely and independent.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    It’s a familiar story of music-world success, failure and addiction, admirably but unevenly told by first-time feature director Jeff Preiss, who certainly knows the music and the milieu, but proves less adept at shaping the material into a consistently compelling narrative.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    Low Down keeps the histrionics to a minimum, but the inertia of a good man failing to be a good father isn’t enough to sustain nearly two hours of reflection, especially when Preiss consistently suggests that telling Amy’s story from Joe’s perspective would have made for a much better film.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    It’s appropriately melancholy, and yet there’s a sense that the movie only scratches the surface.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Kenji Fujishima

    There's only so much that Fanning's vividly expressive face and Hawkes's charismatic sensitivity can mask before we realize how little we truly understand what goes on in anybody's head.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    A well-meaning but desultory descent into darkness based on a memoir of the same name by Amy-Jo Albany, daughter of Joe Albany, the great jazz pianist who died in 1988 at age 63. The book, published in 2003, was subtitled Junk, Jazz and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood, and that just about covers it.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Michael Nordine

    There are too many notes that, while not false, are neither satisfactorily resolved nor left interestingly unresolved.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    Fanning and Hawkes are both great actors, but they can only do so much with Low Down’s familiar, monotonous cycle of recovery and relapse.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Director Jeff Preiss soaks his movie in a brownish retro atmosphere, which helps smooth over the many dull spots, but only briefly. Though his cast is strong even when the movie lags, they often feel like soloists doing their own thing next to each other — always melodic but never truly meshing.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Unfortunately, the film never begins to reveal what's really going on inside Joe Albany.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    First-time feature director Jeff Preiss has a top-notch duo in John Hawkes, as the affable but troubled Joe, and Elle Fanning as his teen daughter, Amy, but neither can really get out from under the film’s heavy-handed tone, a one-note trip down a bleak memory lane.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    The film plays nary a note of reprieve and the dank aesthetic does nothing to help the mood. “Low Down” is unequivocally a downer.

    The Playlist Full Review