Addict Named Hal

Addict Named Hal
Running time:85 minutes
Director:Lane Michael Stanley
Release date:00 0000

Mulder's Review

"I lived in a drug and alcohol recovery halfway house for six months in 2016 after the sudden death of my fiancé. My life was saved by the people I met there, and Addict Named Hal is a love letter to each of them. I set out to make a personal, intimate drama driven by characters and relationships that are equal parts funny and horrifying - just as early recovery can be... Our story explores how addiction intersects with race, class, past incarceration, gender and trauma. We hope this film will allow addicts to see themselves represented, help create greater empathy with the real human lives depicted, and inspire addicts and their families to seek treatment without stigma. " - Lane Michael Stanley

This year, our media was fortunate to be able to discover many independent films, notably by covering renowned American festivals such as Sundance, SXSW and the excellent Santa Barbara International film festival for about ten days. It is within the framework of this last one that we could discover a film charged with true and pure emotions that is Addict Named Hal written and directed by Lane Michael Stanley.

When Amy (Natalie L'Amoreaux) is sent against her will by her mother to a rehab center, she believes she is different from everyone else - until Hal (Ray Roberts), a heroin addict who has just returned from prison, convinces her to try rehab. But Amy soon learns that her drinking won't go away on its own and that she may have a bigger problem than she thought. Exploring the daily struggles with alcohol addiction, the victories and failures along the long road to rehab

The director draws on his own past and in particular on the period he spent in a halfway house for drug and alcohol recovery for 6 months. Yet this film before being born was like a real detox period for its director and went from the form of a 10 minutes solo play that won the audience favorite award at the Fells Point Corner Theatre's 10x10x10, to that of a short film screened in Los Angeles and New York last October/November as part of the REEL Recovery Film Festival before becoming a film that was screened as part of the SBIFF in world premiere.

Cinema, like writing a novel or painting, is a perfect way for artists to exorcise their own demons and in this case, it is easy to understand Lane Michael Stanley's desire to show an important social aspect. Indeed, addiction affects countless families and goes as far as their implosion, in the same way that deaths by heroin overdose have quadrupled in the last five years. Addict Named Hal can thus be seen as a real alarm to remind us of the importance of certain detoxification centers to help certain people who have lost confidence in themselves, marked by wounds that they can no longer bear.

By approaching a subject that is certainly found in many films and American television series, the treatment here is far from being that of Hollywood, it is all the more realistic that the realization without being too classic knows perfectly capture the wounds of the main characters. The aspect that emerges from this film is also the will to show the relationships that drug addicts and alcoholics have with each other. This mutual aid is as important as the medical care that they receive as this film shows it so well.

We will also note in this film the presence in the female lead of the superb actress Natalie L'Amoreaux who brings a certain charm but also her emotional fragility to her character and certainly makes Addict Named Hal a film to be discovered at its next release in theaters or in live video.

Addict Named Hal
Written and directed by Lane Michael Stanley
Produced by Lowell D. Blank, Thane Swigart, Lane Michael Stanley
Starring Peggy Schott, Donato De Luca, Natalie L'Amoreaux , Ray Roberts
Music by Nathaniel Meeks
Cinematography: John David De Virgiliis
Edited by Prakshi Malik
Release date : April 1, 2021 (SBIFF)
Running time : 85 minutes

Seen on April 01, 2021 (SBIFF)

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