By Leah Greenblatt
Updated October 24, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

Though bebop pianist Joe Albany (played with damaged sweetness by John Hawkes) sat in with some of the finest musicians in the world, heroin got the best of his talent. Told through the eyes of his teenage daughter, Amy-Jo (Elle Fanning), and shot in an eternally dingy 1970s Los Angeles — brown is the warmest color — Low Down has the rhythm of jazz: all tones and texture. Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Glenn Close also give vivid turns in a film that finds the grace notes in a hopeless cause. B+