Low Down

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Low Down
Low Down poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Preiss
Produced byAlbert Berger
Written byTopper Lilien
Amy-Jo Albany
StarringJohn Hawkes
Elle Fanning
Lena Headey
Glenn Close
Taryn Manning
Peter Dinklage
Tim Daly
Music byOhad Talmor
CinematographyChristopher Blauvelt
Edited byMichael Saia
Bona Fide Productions
Distributed byOscilloscope Laboratories
Release date
  • January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) (Sundance)
  • October 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Running time
120 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$54,051[1]

Low Down is a 2014 American biopic directed by Jeff Preiss and based on the memoirs written by Amy-Jo Albany (portrayed by Elle Fanning) about her father, famed jazz pianist Joe Albany (portrayed by John Hawkes), and his struggles with drug addiction.[2]

The film was executive produced by Anthony Kiedis and Flea (who also co-stars in the film) of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The film premiered in competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014.[3] It won the Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic at the festival.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

Joe Albany was a well accomplished jazz pianist during the 1960s and 1970s, performing with the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus before his descent into heroin addiction. The film tells the story of Albany's life from the perspective of his then 11-year-old daughter Amy Albany through her own personal memoirs, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1960s and '70s jazz scene.[5]



Actor Mark Ruffalo was originally cast in 2011 to star as Joe Albany however was forced to back out due to scheduling issues and production being delayed.[6]


The film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014, and went on to win best Cinematography. The film also won best film at the New Hampshire Film Festival in 2014. The first official trailer was released on September 18, 2014.[7] The film opened to a limited release on October 24, 2014 in New York City and October 31, 2014 in Los Angeles.[8]


Low Down was met with mixed reviews. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes sampled 47 film critics' reviews, 24 which are positive and 23 negative, bringing the score to 51%, averaging 5.68/10. The film's consensus reads: "Rich in mood and on-screen talent but lacking in narrative depth, Low Down tells an oft-told tale with a troubling dearth of imagination."[9] Metacritic, another review aggregator gives the film a score 58 out of 100 from reviews from 21 critics, six of them positive, 13 mixed and two negative, with its general agreement being "mixed or average reviews".[10]


  1. ^ "Low Down (2014) – Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com.
  2. ^ Chris O'Falt. "Sundance Preview: John Hawkes Stars as a Heroin-Addicted Jazz Pianist in 'Low Down'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "Sundance 2014: U.S. Dramatic Competition". Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  4. ^ "'Whiplash' Owns the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Awards Netting Two Top Prizes". Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sundance 2014: Elle Fanning, Glenn Close on 'Low Down' - EW.com". ew.com.
  6. ^ "John Hawkes to Star in Joe Albany Biopic LOW DOWN". Collider.
  7. ^ "'Low Down' Trailer". yahoo.com. 18 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Up and Comers - Watch: Elle Fanning in First 'Low Down' Trailer". upandcomers.net.
  9. ^ "Low Down (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Low Down". Metacritic. Retrieved August 22, 2015.

External links[edit]