Connie (Robert Pattinson) wants the best for his mentally handicapped brother Nick (Benny Safdie), but his love for him is misguided. Thinking that money will solve all their problems Connie gets Nick to help him rob a bank and when things go wrong he spends the night trying to get his brother out of jail.
The Safdie brothers film (Josh wrote and directed, Benny stars and directed) received a limited cinema release in the UK in November and is now available on Netflix. It is a fantastic film and well worth your time and one that I am now sad to have been unable to see on the big screen.
The overall feel to the film is one that captures the manic energy of Scorsese’s After Hours and Bringing Out the Dead. As with those films this features the protagonist going to increasing lengths during one night in New York. Connie is both on the run from the law and desperately trying to save his brother, the characters he meets on the way in the underworld of night-time New York are grotesque or benign and nothing in between.
Adding to this manic feel and propulsive story is an excellent synth score from Oneohtrix Point Never. It gives the film a unique sound and fits the tone perfectly. There is also an original song from the composer featuring Iggy Pop that should result in you sitting through the entire credits. Something that you won’t want to miss thanks to the incredibly poignant scenes that book end the film focusing on Nick.
And finally it’s worth mentioning how good the leads are. Benny Safdie excellently portrays a vulnerable man not fully able to comprehend the world around him and Robert Pattinson is fantastic as someone who wants the best for his brother but slides from bad to worse in doing so.