This poignant film centers around an overweight chef at a rust-belt tavern.
In his feature debut, writer-director John Mangold brings remarkably sensitive powers of observation to bear upon ordinary people living ordinary lives.
Writer/director Mangold never compromises the integrity of his painfully-intense script. There isn’t one crowd-pleasing moment in the entire movie, except perhaps the last scene, which offers a flicker of hope.
You don’t guess the true horror of the place, which is that there are no secrets, because everyone here knows all about everyone else, inside and out, top to bottom, and has for years.
Written and directed with uncommon sensitivity by James Mangold, a strikingly talented newcomer.
Mangold’s sympathy is genuine and his refusal to mock or condescend to his characters — indeed, that may be the point of the film — is a pleasure.
Mangold’s vision is bold. There is nothing cutesy or gimmicky about Heavy, which may be why something in its grimness recalls the work of Ingmar Bergman.
This examination of unexamined lives is beautifully acted by all involved, notably former pop diva Deborah Harry, whose nuanced portrayal of a middle-aged tart is almost painful to watch.