Starting this blog a few hundred movies ago I never quite imagined Michael Keaton becoming one of my favorite actors of the era. Sure, I’d previously digged him in Beetlejuice and Batman, but after discovering his great comedic energy in Night Shift, seeing him fighting him for the american worker in Gung Ho and now in Clean and Sober, it’s becoming quite obvious that Keaton is one of those rare talents, born with a great screen present.
Mostly known for his comedies – some of them horrible misfires – Clean and Sober marks the first drama feature movie for Keaton. He uses his energetic talent well as Daryl, a real estate salesman whose life is spiralling fast out of control after drug and alcohol abuse that’s wrecked his career and his personal life.
The character is very well crafted and devoid of the usual clichés that usually go with the addicts in the pictures; he’s witty enough to be able to land himself a decent job and to hold on to it, fooling everyone there’s no problem. It’s even when the addiction is about to land him in jail that he keeps on trying to bullshit himself out of the situation, totally unaware that he has a problem. Morgan Freeman and M. Emmet Walsh perform superbly as two former addicts now providing support for other abusers, patiently trying to hold a mirror up for Daryl for him to finally come in terms with his situation.
If you’ve ever suffered from an addiction or lived with someone who did, Clean and Sober will surely strike a truthful chord.