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A SLIPPING DOWN LIFE
USA: Lions Gate Films
Cast: Lili Taylor, Guy Pearce, John Hawkes, Sara Rue, Shawnee Smith, Veronica Cartwright, Tom Bower, Irma P. Hall, Clea DuVall, Marshall Bell, Bruno Kirby, Lew Temple, Vincent Prendergast III, Brian Stack, Brian Prendergast, Mike Hynes, Tony Frank, James Harrell, Keith McDermott, Gary Ragland
Director: Toni Kalem
USA: 111 mins
USA Rated: R for language including sexual references
USA Release Date: 14 May 2004 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
Based on the novel by Anne Tyler, A SLIPPING DOWN LIFE is the story of the unusual courtship of an awkward young woman and a charismatic singer/ songwriter, and the profound effect that their unlikely relationship has on each other's lives.
Evie Decker (Lili Taylor) is a painfully timid young woman whose monotonous life consists of living with her reclusive widower father (Tom Bower) and working a dead-end job at a rundown amusement park. Evie's quiet existence is forever altered when she hears a late-night radio interview with a struggling musician named Drumstrings Casey (Guy Pearce). Evie is fascinated with his seductive voice and sultry lyrics and convinces her best friend Violet (Sara Rue) to go with her to the local roadhouse to see him perform. Seeing him in person, Evie becomes even more mesmerized by the handsome and brooding musician.
During one of Drum's shows, Evie's growing infatuation blends into obsession when she becomes so entranced by his singing that she actually cuts his name into her forehead with a piece of glass. She considers this her first step towards taking more control of her life.
The incident brings her to Drum's attention and he and his manager David Elliot (John Hawkes) decide to use her as a marketing gimmick at future shows. Evie's total faith in Drum's talent inspires and intrigues him while her role as his "muse" imparts Evie with uncharacteristic self-assurance.
A physical attraction between Evie and Drum develops as their emotional need for one another becomes more and more apparent. The inspiration they find together to break out from the confines of low expectations and hopelessness as well as the ordinariness of small town life becomes incompatible with the pursuit of their individual dreams. Together or apart they must decide which path will lead to the fulfillment of their newfound strength.