Third viewing, first since it opened commercially. Can't imagine this working without Crudup's performance, which is like a nonstop embodiment of the "yes and" improvisational technique; FH responds to every situation with initial befuddlement followed by total embrace, and his ingenuousness ensures that the movie—a junkie odyssey in which half the characters die—never becomes a dirge.
Book and film are fraternal twin masterpieces. Maclean’s vibrant colors redeem the era’s gaudy palette and create a visual corollary to the fugitive infinitude shared by love and hard drugs. Her taming of the source material results in a profoundly gracious film untarnished by fear of its own darkness. The fiddler comes for his due. Not every shriek sounds like an eagle. Yet enough do to keep restless spirits intrigued.