Director: Pamela Romanowsky
Writers: Pamela Romanowsky, Stephen Elliott (Memoir)
Starring: James Franco, Amber Heard
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexuality, and some aberrant and disturbing content
Official Socials: Facebook | IMDb
As a writer stymied by past success, writers block, substance abuse, relationship problems and a serious set of father issues, Elliott's cracked-out chronicle of a bizarre murder trial amounts to less than the sum of its parts. Not long into the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the defendant's friend Sean Sturgeon obliquely confessed to several murders (though not the murder of Reiser's wife). Elliott, caught up in the film-ready twist and his tenuous connection to Sturgeon (they share a BDSM social circle), makes a gonzo record of the proceedings. The result is a scattered, self-indulgent romp through the mind of a depressive narcissist obsessed with his insecurities and childhood traumas.
This film is one that will be hard for most people to take in. This is a realistic film; one in which you don't necessarily get a for sure happy ending with a clear path of where the characters will be in 10 years. This might be because it's based off of a memoir, but it could also be because of the subject manner too.
I loved the soundtrack of the film. It was amazing, it helps to boost the emotions of whatever Stephen is feeling in the moment. Whether he's reliving memories of his past, or he's in turmoil in the present day, the music is there to help you feel exactly what he is feeling.
At this moment - I just finished the film - and I feel that this is one of those movies that will stick with me for a long time after I've finished watching it. I'm not sure how I feel about it, which usually means in a week I'll be able to tell you that I absolutely loved it. But for the time being I have to let it rest in my mind and make me think about it.
It's rough because you want the best for Stephen. And when you watch films you tend to always get that arc for the main character. The he's doing good, hits rock bottom, then makes it back to the top better than ever. With this you get the feeling that Stephen is doing okay, he's trudging through, and then he hits rock bottom. There were many points in the film where I thought he'd never be able to come back from that. And I feel that this is where some viewers might have issues with the film. Everyone wants the main character happy, but when a film is as realistic as this one is you're not sure if there will be a happy ever after. You hope for it, and I choose to believe that there could be, but it's up for everyone to decide.
James Franco. I love that man as an actor. Most people know him for his comedic roles in Pineapple Express or This Is How It Ends. But honestly. For me he shines in his serious roles. 127 Hours was when I realized that he is a man of many talents. That he is a man I will most likely watch anything he is in. And The Adderall Diaries only reinforced those beliefs for me.