'The Judge' vs. 'Low Down'? - Am I there yet?


I could look at RD Jr all day long and that’s a good thing because when you see 'The Judge' you see a lot of him. In every angle, from Mt. Rushmore to Rodin, and God Bless, he looks great at every turn. And, as always, Robert Duvall’s performance as the Judge is spectacular.

The cast, story, lighting, camera work, cutting all bring words like epic, monolithic, grand and opulent to mind. Truth is, the film didn’t bring me to the place I wanted to be when I took my seat. 

My experience of 'Low Down', the story of jazz pianist Joe Albany, based on the memoir of Joe’s daughter Amy, took me where I wanted to go.

Amy Albany, with my fellow Bennington College alumni, Topper Lilien collaborated on the screenplay and Low Down was made on a shoestring over the course of 9 years.

The film takes place in LA during the jazz scene scene of the 60s and 70s. 

What must it be like for Amy as she now watches that period of her life being played out by the likes of Glenn Close, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Flea and Taryn Manning, all expertly guided under the careful direction of Jeff Preiss.

Hawkes as Albany is lovable and tragic, he has style and heart and, of course, I fall in love with him a little bit. Elle Fanning kills it as Amy. Tim Daly, another Bennington alum, gives a performance so outside my expectation of him as to reaffirm my faith in creativity as it was back in the day at Bennington.

Bravo, I believed every moment of the dark, twisted story of love, devotion and acceptance.