dir: Olivier Assayas
[img_assist|nid=980|title=This wouldn't be the first time Canada drove someone to drugs|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=430|height=284]
Clean is a strange but oddly satisfying film. It’s strange in that there’s no clear plot, but there is a lot going on in the life of the main character Emily Wang, fantastically played by Hong Kong legend Maggie Cheung. Enough at least to keep us entertained.
This is a film that defies the genre it seems to be about: addiction and its malcontents, and derails the predictable path to redemption by offering something low key but more complicated.
Emily is portrayed at first as equal parts Courtney Love, when she still had her hooks in Kurt Cobain, and Yoko Ono as the destroyer of both the Beatles and John Lennon, eventually. That’s not a pleasant character on paper or on the screen. She has managed to attach herself leech-like to an artist, Lee Hauser (James Johnston, formerly of the band Gallon Drunk and more recently of the Bad Seeds), and brought him down to her level by sharing the depths of her addiction with him.
Anyone that still cares about washed-up Lee hates Emily and what they see as the damage she has visited upon him, but it’s not like Lee’s going to be around for that long anyway.