What I got from it....Sherry does not get any of the help she needs when she gets put on Parol. The realism of her character makes it all the more evident. When she struggles and fails to stay clean it never feels like she's acting out irrationally, we can absolutely empathise with her and her situation.
I watched this film over two days. The first day I was really tired and I found it quite lengthy and boring, but the next day it seemed much pacier. I think the strongest moments happen about two thirds into the film, at Alexis' birthday party. It makes you understand everything. In the end I quite enjoyed the subtlety of the film, while simultanously disturbed by the way so many things are left in the dark, unsaid.
Excellent character-driven indie drama centered around a superb performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal. There are no easy answers and a lot of very believable loose ends, the naturalistic writing and performances lend it a very compelling authenticity that few films achieve. It does drag in places, but all in all this is an extraordinary effort from writer-director Laurie Collyer.