Progressive lefty critics don’t want to know from harrowing depictions of violent, hardscrabble, non-white, hand-to-mouth, lower-income, mentally-stressed NYC natives howling and moaning and suffering the pains of hell in shitty, grubby, rat-infested apartments.

Because such depictions don’t blend with the progressive program and are generally bad for the soul. It doesn’t matter if Ryan King‘s screenplay was a Black List favorite. Critics don’t approve and that’s that. When I saw this film in Cannes last May I noticed two or three female jouurnalists walking out early.

Critics will, however. approve of or at least give a pass to Martin Scorsese‘s Bringing Out The Dead (’99), which is quite similar to Jean Stephane-Sauvaier‘s Asphalt City (Vertical / Roadside, 3.29) but is insulated to some extent by being 25 years old and therefore from another, less socially scrutinized era.