You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Down to the Dirt

A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, "Down to the Dirt" is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland.

With:
With: Joel Thomas Hynes, Mylene Savoie, Robert Joy, Hugh Dillon, Phil Churchill, Jody Richardson, Glenn Downey, Sherry White, Mary Lewis, Paula Morgan, Steve Cochrane, Jane Maggs.

A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many viewers will find time spent with this hapless screw-up two hours too many, but the pic does at least partly capture the source material’s rambunctious gallows humor. Exposure inside Canada will be limited; outside, scant.

Keith Kavanagh (Hynes) is a smalltown scourge — kicked out by parents, blamed (oft correctly) for everything from trashed cars to arson. He moves with g.f. Natasha (Mylene Savoie) to comparatively bustling St. Johns; fed up, she soon splits for Halifax. Deciding on a surprise visit, he liquors himself into a ruinous state before even reaching her door. Dialogue and narration in the screenplay (oddly not by the author/star) are occasionally flat, but in screen presence and voiceover delivery, Hynes sustains the book’s raffish tone. Aptly grungy package is adequate, though staging and soundtrack choices are uninspired.

Down to the Dirt

Canada

Production: A Mongrel Media presentation of a Newfoundland Film, Darius Films production. Produced by Anna Petras, Justin Simms. Executive producers, Nicholas Tabarrok, Jennice Ripley. Directed, edited by Justin Simms. Screenplay, Simms, Sherry White, based on the novel by Joel Thomas Hynes.

Crew: Camera (color, Super 16-to-35mm), Jordan Lynn; music, Mark Bragg; production designer, Pam Hall. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Canada First!), Sept. 8, 2008. Running time: 116 MIN.

With: With: Joel Thomas Hynes, Mylene Savoie, Robert Joy, Hugh Dillon, Phil Churchill, Jody Richardson, Glenn Downey, Sherry White, Mary Lewis, Paula Morgan, Steve Cochrane, Jane Maggs.

More Film

  • Kendrick Lamar Invited to Join Movie

    Kendrick Lamar Invited to Join Movie Academy

    A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many […]

  • Tiffany Haddish, Timothee Chalamet, Mindy Kaling

    Academy Invites Record 928 New Members

    A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many […]

  • Teach Grant

    'It: Chapter 2': Teach Grant to Play Adult Henry Bowers (EXCLUSIVE)

    A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many […]

  • Christoph Terhechte to Lead Revived Marrakech

    Former Berlinale Section Director to Head Revived Marrakech Film Festival

    A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many […]

  • Martin Scorsese, Sigourney Weaver to Appear

    Martin Scorsese, Sigourney Weaver, Giuseppe Tornatore Set for Rome Film Festival

    A portrait of the artist as a young wreck, “Down to the Dirt” is an uneven yet flavorful adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes’ autobiographical novel, with the author playing his own alter ego — an aspiring poet who spends time drinking, drugging, vomiting, vandalizing and being pursued by police in his native rural Newfoundland. Many […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content