People who think that the working class or anyone who is down and out is necessarily brutal and self-serving will love this film. For those who like their "social realism" as ugly and unambiguous as possible,this is the film for you. Most of the characters are one-dimensional,yell their lines and are either outrightly cruel/unfeeling (practically everyone) or hystrionic/narcissistic victims doomed to be wiped out by the end of the film (eg Gorgette the transvestite, Tra La La the town "tramp"). Almost all are totally unsympathetic--practically no-one in this film is worth caring about. Sorry, but real life is NOT like this,not even amongst the "downtrodden" who obviously make such sensationalist fodder for those eager to "slum it" vicariously for a couple of hours. This film might titilate nihilistic 20 yr olds or middle class suburbanites and has clearly thrilled all the critics (and almost everyone else in this forum) but I found it stupid and ugly (and boring). Jennifer Jason Leigh is terrific, I must add. That is the only good thing I can say about this film, I'm afraid. For those looking for uncompromising social realism and characters written with compassion rather than contempt, try reading Steinback's "Cannery Row" or see the movie of his novel "Of Mice and Men" or, for a more contemporary, very bleak but infinitly better film than Last Exit see "Nil by Mouth" directed by Gary Oldman.