Permit-free, no-budget Manhattan indie Sean Baker returns with another palm-size street gadget, shot on the shoulder amid real crowds in sections of the city no one else bothers to film. This self-distributee is all neo-doc super-realism all the time, investigating the exasperating routines of a street hustler Lucky (Ghana émigré Prince Adu), who works a chunk of wholesale-district sidewalk roping shoppers into a backroom store of knock-off handbags. As C.S. Lewis said, in real life, as in a story, something must happen, and that is just the trouble—out of nowhere, a barking ex (Kat Sanchez) deposits a toddler in Lucky's arms, tells him the tyke is his, and takes off. It's not the freshest scenario, and Baker lets Lucky sputter and moan about his fate for so long that we wonder, as his sensible girlfriend does, why we're bothering with such undiluted dickness. ("Life sucks with you!" is typical of his fatherly remarks, to which the child rarely offers a peep.) But then the canvas broadens to include Lucky's Armenian employer (Karren Karagulian), and the film seethes with naturalistic cred. Adu did his time hawking contraband in real life, and is credited as a consultant, too.
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