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Clean and Sober

Covering the first 30 days of attempted recovery by middle-class cocaine addict Michael Keaton, Sober is sobering indeed, perhaps too grim.

Michael Keaton Kathy Baker Morgan Freeman M. Emmet Walsh Tate Donovan Luca Bercovici

Covering the first 30 days of attempted recovery by middle-class cocaine addict Michael Keaton, Sober is sobering indeed, perhaps too grim.

Keaton carries his heavy load well enough, on screen a vast majority of time as a hotshot real estate executive whose cocaine use has gotten him $92,000 into hock on embezzled company money and into bed with a young girl dying of an overdose.

On the run, Keaton decides to hide out in a recovery hospital, attracted more by its policies of strict confidentiality than any desire for rehabilitation. There, he falls under the strict supervision of ex-junkie Morgan Freeman, which will do him good, but also develops a romantic interest in fellow recovering addict Kathy Baker, which won’t.

Sober chooses to focus on the couple’s shared attraction for each other (and cocaine), and follows them to a predictable end.

Clean and Sober

Production: Imagine/Warner. Director Glenn Gordon Caron; Producer Tony Ganz, Deborah Blum; Screenplay Tod Carroll; Camera Jan Kiesser; Editor Richard Chew; Music Gabriel Yared;; Art Director Joel Schiller

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 124 MIN.

With: Michael Keaton Kathy Baker Morgan Freeman M. Emmet Walsh Tate Donovan Luca Bercovici

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