Ry Russo-Young's sophomore feature won't completely disassociate the writer-director from the mumblecore movement she was lumped in with after her 2007 debut, Orphans---not least because of her latest film's raft of SXSW-alumni cameos. Nonetheless, this often-bracing effort differentiates itself from that indie genre by wallowing in scuzzy self-destruction instead of generational, woe-is-us quirkiness, via the tale of an aspiring actress named Shelly (art-world heiress Schnabel). She's an out-of-control twentysomething recently released from a psychiatric hospital, and struggling---sloppily, bitterly, miserably---to find purpose and love through awkward auditions and unfulfilling hookups.
The film's frequent montages of Shelly wandering about Williamsburg, Brooklyn (shot with grainy, aspect-ratio-fluctuating expressionism and marked by Shelly's confessionals to her shrink) push a bit too hard into affectation. Her pain and fury, however, never feel less than real during her drunken, smoke-shrouded one-night stands and disappointing mornings-after. Schnabel exudes disgust, fear and longing with an unvarnished rawness far removed from the hipster ditziness of many celebrated low-fi efforts, and the result is a work that radiates a boozy, Bukowski-esque downward spiral, all alcohol-fueled anger and aimless sadness.