The Adderall Diaries Review – An Amphetamine Fueled Ride

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Adderall Diaries, from A24, presents the story of best-selling author Stephen Elliot, who, after penning the story of his traumatized childhood, is catapulted into the world of Manhattan’s literati which balloons his ego, alters his state and stills his pen.

Directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky, The Adderall Diaries stars James Franco, Ed Harris, Amber Heard, Christian Slater, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Parrack and was adapted for the screen from the book of the same name.

We meet Stephen Elliot, played by James Franco, on a good morning in Manhattan. Wondering around his loft, the same one he had prior to success, a voice comes through the wire, his editor/agent Jen Davis, played by Cynthia Nixon (Sex in the City) has secured him a new book contact, an advance, and all he is responsible for is producing a chapter, 20 or so pages, a week. Should be no problem for the newly minted literati extraordinaire.

Suddenly overcome with writer’s block, Eliot turns on the television and becomes absorbed in the trial of a handsome, youthful, vibrant, Tech Genius, played by Christian Slater accused of killing his equally loving, adorning, vibrant wife and burying the body. He swears he is innocent, his wife has abandoned the family and children. She is watching from somewhere relishing in his injury.

Absorbed Eliot sits in on the trial, believing he can be the next Truman Capote, he is looking for some way to surpass the success of his autobiography. At a pivotal moment, Slater turns and makes eye contact with Lana Edmond, New York Times crime beat reporter, played by Amber Heard.

Taken with her Eliot ends up inviting her to visit the crime scene when she sees his bike, she throws down the challenge and driving takes over the control. The romance, doomed from the start, takes a dark turn as Eliot’s unresolved issues are rooted and manifest as fetishes masking his inner beliefs that pain is synonymous with love and the line between love and hate, pain and pleasure, is often blurred especially during heightened moments of sexual arousal which are usually fueled by drug and alcohol cocktails.

On this day, those deep, dark days are still ahead, and the two are swapping war stories and opinions on guilt or innocence, where the body would be buried and other morbid thrills. As a newly knighted literati, a New York Times writer is the preferred evening accessory to a read of his New York Times best seller.

From the audience, a man, a ghost, clearly dead to the author and the surest way to stun the literary world is to have the departed abusive father, penned and certified throughout the memoir show up at the high society read. Unsure how to respond as Neil Elliot played by Ed Harris begins to expose his suddenly embarrassed son, the carefully crafted world seems to crumble.

What follows is every artist’s nightmare. The world, the life, respect, advance, friends, editor/agent, all disappear as Eliot becomes increasingly drug dependent, pain addicted, which has him confronting the memories of his childhood, embellished verses truth.

James Franco took the lead role and ran with it. Not familiar with Stephen Eliot, his work or life, the first glimpse of this tortured soul came through Franco’s performance.

In defense of the writer, Stephen Eliot, the memories are not that far off of the words he wrote that propelled him to stardom initially. As there are two sides to every story, two motivations for actions and two interpretations of the same event, his and his father’s hold some truth. Facts and evidence are irrefutable, motivations are not.

Oddly the story of the recalled childhood memories seemed common in our flummoxed world.  Fathers do leave, walk out, without thought or concern and leave destruction, the charred remains of a once loving life behind. Rising from the ashes becomes difficult, if not impossible, and an embellished memory seems slight in the coup of triumph over what seemed a sure victory for the enemy of the soul.

Amber Heard offers solid support in her role, although it does seem difficult to believe she is a New York Times crime beat reporter. She catches some moments with genuine authenticity others seem more difficult and hard to believe.

Her scenes opposite Franco as the relationship progresses are easier to believe possibly as she doesn’t reflect the aged news reporter appearance that goes along with the stodgy NYT reputation. She is a rising talent, is working often and she does genuinely hit the arch.

The ensemble cast works well together. Cynthia Nixon, a seasoned talent is perfect in her role. Franco and Ed Harris, as father and son have the most heated exchanges as years of festering hatred over loss, hardship, and abandonment collide. It is cataclysmic and works well on screen.

The Adderall Diaries held its premiere during the Tribeca Film Festival and is playing in select cities through the United States. Check local listings.

The Adderall Diaries is an amphetamine rush and worth seeing.

Image courtesy of The Tribeca Film Festival

Haute Tease

  • Business News: Epic Rights and Pan Inc. Announce New Strategic Partnership in Japan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Epic Rights, a leading global music branding and merchandising company, and Japan's Pan Inc. announce a partnership to develop concert artists' fashion brands, television commercials, sponsorship and endorsements, themed restaurants, cafes and other themed experiences.

     
  • Spectacular Art Deco Emeralds and Magnificent Diamonds Headline Bonhams First London Fine Jewellery Sale Of 2018

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Set to be some of the most talked about lots in Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale next month (25 April) are three outstanding Art Deco jewels by Hennell who closed its doors for good in 2001.

     
  • France Macron and France Yellow Vests

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Yellow Vests crisis reveals the existence of a two France nation that many oppose: Principles, history, beliefs, ambition. Neither will yield. And the outcome of the crisis may be in the disappearance of one of the two.

     
  • World News: Heat Wave Disrupts French Government

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The heat wave that is currently raging in France also questions the adaptability of a modern country in the face of climate change. France, and the countries of the world, will necessarily face and manage a precipitous change.

     
  • Corporate Review – French Thriller Captures Murky Ethics of Global Business World

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Corporate, showcased at the recent French Film Festival, presents the universal story of Darwinian's corporate jungle, of cloudy corporate ethics and sacrifice of the employee is acceptable only if the trail doesn't lead back to the boardroom.

     
  • A Fine Artist’s Saga: The Fascinating Journey of Pinque Clark

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pinque Clark is no stranger to a challenge, from pop-up shows to shooting a boudoir series to art exhibitions in Italy, the Boulder-based photographer has immersed herself in a range of interesting and compelling work.

     
  • Celebrity Real Estate News: Johnny Carson’s Stunning Malibu Beach Home On Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The King of the late-night talk shows host Johnny Carson was a standout among entertainers. Though three preceded him in the genre: Arthur Godfrey, Steve Allen and Jack Parr, it was Carson who became the icon of late-night talk shows.

     
  • The Iceman Review – One Cool Hit

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Iceman,” from Millennium Films and Ehud Bleiberg, brings to the screen the true story of coldblooded contract killer and devoted family man Richard Kuklinski recounting his thirty years as one of the mafia’s most notorious hit man.

     
  • And the Oscar For Best Animated Short Film Goes To . .

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With The Academy Awards quickly approaching the nominees for the Animated Short film category are bringing together a group of delightful and difficult choices to the screen. Watching each of them, it does becomes a battle between the faithful, "Get A Horse" from Walt Disney to the modern, "Mr. Hublot" with "Room on a Broom" flying in to mix up the pot.

     
  • TOLKIEN Review - Magnificent, Magical, Inspiring

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TOLKIEN, from Fox Searchlight Films, presents the magical prequel to perhaps the greatest trilogies in British Literature introducing the world to J.R.R. Tolkien and the moments, lives, loves that shaped him and took shape in his imagination.

     
  • Emotional Anorexia: Why Others Think you are Difficult

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Relationships are not simple. In fact, the closer your association with someone, the more complicated the relationship. In any relationship, one person's needs and expectations intersect with the other person's needs and expectations.

     
  • Aaron Hernandez, Former New England Patriot, Commits Suicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Aaron Hernandez, 27, the former New England Patriots Football player, was found dead in his prison cell from an apparent suicide where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 2013 murder.

     
  • Op/Ed: Why Nothing Permanently Sticks to Teflon Donald

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When it comes to Trump, it's all about Flair. For several years, media and the Washington establishment have railed against Donald Trump with little success. Porn stars, special counsel, duplicitous lawyers, celebrities—they've all taken him on to no avail.

     
  • Beltway Insider: President Addresses Malaysian Aircraft Accountability; Ukraine Russia; Border Kids

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama along with G7 partners and allies have condemned Russia over its involvement in the intentional and catastrophic downing of Malaysian Airline flight MH17 over the eastern Ukraine border resulting in the murder of all 298 on-board.

     
  • SONY Pictures Entertainment Pulls The Interview

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has decided to scrap all plans for distribution of the James Franco Seth Rogan comedy slated for a Christmas Day release due to unsubstantiated terror threats allegedly made by a North Korean government loyalist.