Movie Review: Fix

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We had the chance this past weekend to attend the much anticipated Toofy Film Fest in Boulder. It was quite a hoot. One of the films we had the chance to check out was Fix. Fix is one of those movies that you almost want to hate just from the premise alone. A faux documentary that the filmmakers want you to believe is the real thing. Of course it’s not real; it’s scripted… it’s acted… and it’s directed. When the lights dim and the title credits start to roll, you might think you’re in for Cloverfield or Blair Witch. But, you would be wrong. There is no monster or scary witch to run from, just a bunch of people in a car. In this case, the only monster is heroin.

Fix does bill itself as a documentary, but it is clearly adhering to a strict script with some improv thrown in for good measure. The documentary camera work fills in the gaps. Tao Ruspoli directs and also stars as surprise… the director. Shawn Andrews gives a pretty stellar performance as the director’s brother who is hopelessly addicted to heroin and has about 8 hours to get to rehab or he goes directly to jail. Do not pass go. Rounding out the cast is the beautiful Olivia Wilde, who is surprise again… the director’s real life wife. There is no doubt that this is an actors showcase. All of them working out their own characters and emotions throughout the film. A day long road trip for them that takes the audience to a California that is rarely seen; in this case, the broken down appearance of Watts to the tragedy of South Central Farm. Both were incredibly poignant and we appreciated seeing them shown without any pretentiousness.

The movie for all its shaky camera work and crude film making techniques does have some very intense moments. When Mr. Andrew’s character shoots up heroin because he can’t help himself, all the while his brother films him in utter disbelief. This is one of the most realistic portrayals of drug addiction caught on film. Not because the spoon and the needle were so graphic, but just the shear emotion of it all. These are two brothers who realize that this addiction is all powerful. One, as the actual user and the other as the voyeur, realizing for the first time how awful it really means to be addicted. Powerful stuff.

Fix brings the funny too, with a cameo by unknown Jakob Von Eichel who plays the obscenely wealthy, Shasta. A would-be rapper boxer who the gang try to get some money from as a last ditch effort. Mr. Eichel almost steals the entire movie in five minutes. If there is one reason to see this film, it’s his performance. It reminded us of Eddie Murphy appearing on Saturday Night Live for the first time when you realized you were watching someone become alive as an entertainer for the first time. It’s that good. You’ll hear his name again. We promise.

All in all, a good time and a great festival. Try to make it next time and treat yourself. Check out Fix when it arrives in theaters near you. You’ll be glad you did.

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