Down to the Bone (2004)
Vera Farmiga won a Sundance award for her portrayal of Irene, a blue collar checkout clerk, mom of two boys, and compulsive cokehead. Irene is a survivor of sorts who is easy to admire. She clearly loves her boys Ben and Jason, finds another job cleaning houses when the grocery store fires her ("I was fast because I was high, but when I came clean I slowed down."), and even checks herself into rehab. But she leaves rehab early, spends her kid's birthday check on crack, and leaves her dead beat husband for a recovering addict named Bob. Their emerging love devolves into relapse, co-dependence, and new spasms of self-destructive choices. Writer-director Debra Granik also won a Sundance Director's Award for this film. Befitting the despair and depth of Irene's problems, the entire film takes place in the dead of winter, and at the film's end the plot remains open and unresolved. Rated R for drug use and some nudity.