Movie Review: ‘Life is Hot in Cracktown’

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:00 am.

life-is-hot-in-cracktown-2Summary: Several stories about the crack-cocaine epidemic in the midst of urban decay.

Review: Raw is an understatement to describe Life is Hot in Cracktown, which is based on the book of the same name. The author, Buddy Giovinazzo, is also the writer and director of the film. Giovinazzo juggles topics like rape, drugs, position, violence, child abuse and more. There are no positive characters in Cracktown. No voice of reason; just the reality of dire circumstances, which cannot be tied up in a pretty Hollywood bow.

Evan Ross, who has consistently taken risks in his short career, is a heartless gangster addicted to drugs and violence. When thinking of Ross, ‘gangster’ does not come to mind, which is what made his performance even more powerful. He stomped through the film with an angry energy that represented the lack of remorse that many addicts have when they are deep in their addiction.

The movie also includes RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, Lara Flynn Boyle and Vondie Curtis-Hall. However, the standout of the movie was the incredible Kerry Washington, who plays a transsexual, drug-addicted prostitute named Marybeth. This is a character that could’ve easily been exploitative, but Washington managed to give Marybeth a soul, sensitivity and showed her humanity outside of her circumstances. One can only hope that Washington will be recognized in some way for this film. She has always been an amazing actress, but she captured this character’s every molecule. The only flaw of Cracktown is we needed more of Kerry!

Life is Hot in Cracktown is a story that seeps in you, plays around in your blood and haunts your thoughts days later. It proves that drugs transcend class, race, gender and sexual orientation. Furthermore, you can only admire Giovinazzo for taking his own work in his hands and coming out with a diverse cast that had the vision to support this independent film.

Life is Hot in Cracktown opens in select cities this Friday, June 26th.

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