Heavy

The humming undertow of Thurston Moore's electronic score lends this American indie a brooding intensity right from the start. We're in small-town territory: a rundown diner, a new girl behind the counter, and growing romantic attachment from the owner's plump, retiring son. Disaster's rather obviously brewing; Tyler's fresh-faced Callie may be bringing new life to the place, but she's sparked resentment in fellow waitress Delores (Harry), while the occasional presence of her muso boyfriend Jeff (Dando) seems bound to cause the gentle, corpulent Victor (Vince) some ill-defined yet inevitable hurt. As proprietress Dolly (Winters) presides over failing business and a few loyal regulars, the future appears more uncertain than ever. Writer/director Mangold's careful, essentially serious approach puts the characters under the microscope and relies on the performers not to let him down. They don't. Newcomer Tyler is breezy and touching. Vince meanwhile is hugely sympathetic as the shy boy daring to reach out, capturing deep repression and tiny everyday acts of courage with meticulous command. A potent, if slightly precious first feature, that's distinctive enough to remain long in the mind.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Mangold
Screenwriter: James Mangold
Cast: Pruitt Taylor Vince
Shelley Winters
Liv Tyler
Deborah Harry
Joe Grifasi
Evan Dando
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