CLEAN AND SOBER (director/writer: Glenn Gordon Caron; screenwriter: Tod Carroll; cinematographer: Jan Kiesser; editor: Richard Chew; music: Gabriel Yared; cast: Michael Keaton (Daryl Poynter), Kathy Baker (Charlie Standers), Morgan Freeman (Craig), M. Emmet Walsh (Richard Dirks), Tate Donovan (Donald Towle), Luca Bercovici (Lenny), Claudia Christian (Iris); Runtime: 124; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Tony Ganz/Deborah Blum; Warner Home Video; 1988)
“An intense drama about substance abuse that turns out all too predictable, but is nevertheless powerful.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An intense drama about substance abuse that turns out all too predictable, but is nevertheless powerful. It’s the directorial debut of Glenn Gordon Caron (“Wilder Napalm”/”Picture Perfect”/”Love Affair”), the creator of the television series Moonlighting (1985-89). Caron co-writes the screenplay with Tod Carroll ( “National Lampoon” alumnus).
Michael Keaton plays Daryl Poynter, the fast-talking embezzler real estate executive, who is saddled with great debts after losing the stolen money at the stock market and squandering it on drugs. The middle-class cocaine addict, with an additional drinking problem, is in denial over his substance problems. While on the run, after waking up and finding his date dead, he hides out in an abuse recovery hospital to get away from the possibility of criminal charges brought against him for both embezzling and murder.
Daryl is shown struggling to come to grips with his problem while in a 30-day rehab program.
Morgan Freeman plays the ex-junkie strict supervisor at the rehab clinic. Kathy Baker is a self-denigrating crane operator and recovering addict, whose hubby is out on parole for petty theft. Daryl tries to begin a romance with her.
The pic follows the couple’s difficulties trying to overcome their cocaine addiction and begin life with a fresh start.
M. Emmet Walsh plays Keaton’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
Keaton is superb as the difficult abrasive patient.
REVIEWED ON 4/17/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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