Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor are so good in this movie it’s almost uncanny. As the alcoholic writer Charles Bukowski, Dillon hits the perfect note in his role, a degree right between resigned and apathetic. Taylor shines in bedraggled glory as his long-suffering girlfriend. They’re broken, they’re hopeless, yet they’re still throwing the middle finger to polite society. And in post-war Los Angeles—a repressive 1950s environment that could stifle anyone’s creative chutzpah—we see just how much of society is really begging for that middle finger.