Sundance veteran Allison Anders returns, this time alongside former collaborator Kurt Voss, with an exuberantly wry and insightful work that captures the essence of Los Angeles as an "industry town." If you think that industry is film, guess again; It's the music business/world/scene that's up for discussion; uh, make that dissection. Not since Nashville has the hustling, double dealing, treachery, and ruthlessness of wanna-bes, has-beens, and never-weres been so aptly and accurately displayed. It's a universe full of characters usually portrayed as caricatures, but the intimate knowledge that Anders and Voss share allows them to create, sketch, and color in perfect detail a gleefully energetic romp that gets sharper as it goes along. Needless to say, a plot summary does no justice to the story, but we can begin with Gwen (Jade Gordon). Ambitious and conniving don't begin to describe how far she'll go to become rock's next goddess. She's "cleaning" house for Liz (Ally Sheedy), a production designer who's looking for love. And when opportunity comes in the form of Burt, Gwen takes opportunity by the...you get the picture. Meanwhile, Brit rocker Clive (John Taylor) is married to actress Eva (Rosanna Arquette), up for a job as Christina Ricci's mother, and he's trying to get it together for another hit. And I haven't told you half! Vicious, yet hilarious, Sugar Town fully deserves to be this year's centerpiece. It's a masterful digression on love, fame, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll with a little insight on how to get ahead in LA.
- Geoffrey Gilmore
Directed by: Alison Anders, Kurt Voss
Written by: Alison Anders, Kurt Voss
Starring: Rosanna Arquette, John Doe, Lucinda Jenney, Ally Sheedy, John Taylor, Michael Des Barnes
Produced by: Daniel Hassid
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