Down to the Bone (film)

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Down to the Bone
Theatrical poster
Directed by Debra Granik
Produced by Susan Leber
Anne Rosellini
Written by Debra Granik
Richard Lieske
Starring Vera Farmiga
Hugh Dillon
Cinematography Michael McDonough
Edited by Malcolm Jamieson
Distributed by Hart Sharp Video
Release dates
Running time 104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000[1]
Box office $19,723

Down to the Bone is a 2004 American independent drama film, directed by Debra Granik and written by Granik and Richard Lieske. It stars Vera Farmiga, who received a Best Actress Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her role as the drug addicted Irene. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 15, 2004, where it won the Director's Award (Debra Granik) and the Special Jury Prize for Acting (Vera Farmiga).


A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come crashing down.


  • Vera Farmiga as Irene
  • Hugh Dillon as Bob
  • Clint Jordan as Steve
  • Caridad de la Luz as Lucy
  • Jasper Daniels as Ben
  • Taylor Foxhall as Jason
  • Terry McKenna as Gene
  • Rickard Lieske as Richard
  • Hector Vasquez as Hector
  • Joel Saeks as Lars
  • Walt Bolde as Walt
  • Edward Crawford as Kevin


The film, which addresses the effects of drug addiction, was directed and co-written by Debra Granik. The film takes place in upstate New York near and around Kingston, New York. Down to the Bone is Granik's first feature film and was filmed on digital video. Granik also directed the 2010 film Winter's Bone.

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received critical acclaim from film critics. It currently holds a 94% approval rating based on 33 reviews on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating: "A vivid portrayal of the effects of drug abuse that avoids cinematic clichés, Down to the Bone is a winning effort by first-time director Debra Granik and features a breakout performance by Vera Farmiga."[2] On Metacritic, the film scored a 76 out of 100 rating based on 13 reviews.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2004 BendFilm Festival Best Actress Vera Farmiga Won
2004 Marrakech International Film Festival Best Actress Vera Farmiga Won
Golden Star Debra Granik Nominated
2004 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award – Drama Debra Granik Won
Special Jury Prize for Acting Vera Farmiga Won
Grand Jury Prize Debra Granik Nominated
2004 Deauville Film Festival Grand Special Prize Debra Granik Nominated
2004 Florida Film Festival Grand Jury Award – Best Narrative Feature Debra Granik Won
2004 Gotham Awards Breakthrough Director Debra Granik Nominated
2004 Locarno International Film Festival Golden Leopold Debra Granik Nominated
2004 Vienna International Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize Debra Granik Won
2005 Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead Vera Farmiga Nominated
John Cassavetes Award Debra Granik, Richard Lieske, Susan Leber, Anne Rosellini Nominated
2005 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Vera Farmiga Won
2006 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Vera Farmiga Nominated


  1. ^ "The Scariest Four-Letter Word in American Storytelling". This Distracted Globe. July 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Down to the Bone - Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster, Inc. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Down to the Bone Reviews". Metacritic. 

External links[edit]