Heaven Knows What (2015)
Starring Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, and Buddy Duress
Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Heaven Knows What is devastatingly realistic, dropping its audience right into the mix and jolting us into the horrific environment of young homeless people in New York City. There's certainly a sense that first-time actress Arielle Holmes has lived through the horrors onscreen as the semi-autobiographical nature would attest as she imbues Harley with a jittery anxiousness that makes the audience just as anxious watching the story unfold. While I appreciate the realism, it doesn't exactly make for a pleasant or recommendable viewing experience. I was onboard until the film hit the halfway mark (about forty-ice minutes in), but then I found the film to be repetitive. While I believe the repetition is purposeful showing us a never-ending struggle of the homeless to find places to sleep, buy and sell drugs, and earn money however they're able, it grows tiresome, perhaps in part because of the low budget, unobtrusive, almost-documentary style of filmmaking.
The RyMickey Rating: C+