For this groundbreaking 1996 production, an Oscar winner, two Oscar nominees and group of highly regarded major film actors gathered in a church basement in New York City to portray a group of alcoholics at an AA meeting. The stars include Richard Lewis (in his first dramatic lead), Faye Dunaway, Dianne Wiest, Parker Posey. "Drunks" also features the late Spalding Gray and Howard Rollins. Rounding out the cast are the young Calista Flockhart and Sam Rockwell. The New York Times called it "superbly realized." The Boston Herald critic praised the film as "a powerhouse of drama, humor and heart."
... the movie is so superbly realized by an ensemble of well-known actors that it is impossible not to be moved by their stories. Gary Lennon's screenplay is tough-minded enough to avoid a disease-of-the-week mawkishness that the theme invites ... the furthest thing from a soft-focus ad for the recovery movement in which teary-eyed proselytizers hug one another and gush with inspirational platitudes.
...flies in the face of what passes for Hollywood wisdom by making its monologues compelling, and its texture makes its characters seem like people you'd see riding in the subway. In short, it strikes a lot of convincing notes. Clearly, we haven't heard the last of Cohn.
A cantata of the damned, some of whom have decided to save themselves. In this gravity, there is also grace.