“Acts of Worship” is one of those films that has enough real-life moments in it that you know it just has to come from the writer or director’s life. If that’s the case here, I feel more than a bit sorry for Rosemary Rodriguez, the writer/director of the film, as this tale of drug addiction, failed attempts to kick and betrayal is heart wrenching and sometimes a bit traumatizing to watch.
The film centers itself around two women, Alix (Ana Reeder) and Digna (Michael Hyatt), whose lives become intertwined after Digna finds Alix passed out on her doorstep. Alix is addicted to crack and heroin, and while Digna seems to have the perfect life as an award-winning photographer, we soon learn that she, too, once danced on that dark path. When she sets her mind to helping Alix out of her state of addiction, the viewers have no idea things will get as bad as they do. And that’s where the film falters.
Digna’s fate, which won’t be revealed here, does not ring true in this tale that is filled with fine acting and realistic moments of fiends trying to make their next fix. Digna, who was the eye of the storm throughout Alix’s slow descent into all the usual pitfalls of addiction, is the viewers’ only real bridge between the world of addicts and non-addicts. To have her act the way she does not only seems foolish, but also unbelievable. We are led to believe this is a strong woman who has her life together, and there isn’t anything there to say otherwise.
For a film that did so well, Digna’s character arc almost ruined a really good thing. The film is still worth seeing, if only for the fantastic performances and honest depictions of the truly turbulent nature of a junkie’s life, but the ending may leave you a bit cold.