Heavy (1995)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 5, 1996 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 119 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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The gloomy surroundings, somber tone, and languid pace ultimately become wearying, but this romantic drama from writer/director James Mangold hailed the arrival of an interesting, provocative artist to join the mid-'90s wave of talented indie newcomers that also included Todd Solondz, David O. Russell, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Mangold draws powerful performances from his cast, particularly lead Pruitt Taylor Vince, a respected character actor who carries the film on his sad-sack shoulders with varying degrees of palpable fear, pain, and hope. Vince is complemented by the willowy Liv Tyler in one of her first, star-making parts, and especially by the revelatory Debbie Harry as a waitress bruised by life -- promiscuous, envious, and still harboring a flickering scrap of romantic hope. If Mangold can learn to forgo the turgid pacing and overweening sense of doomed portent that hangs like a noxious cloud over this film and his subsequent, underrated Cop Land (1997), he may become one of the finest actor's directors of his cinematic freshman class.