We never quite know what drives Emily Wang in Olivier Assayas' Clean. She's a former rock star whose hard living has cost her everything. Her boyfriend is dead and her son is in the custody of his grandparents. Emily decides she is going to clean up and get her son back. However, like most good movies about drug addicts, we're never really sure if she's going to make it. Perhaps we don't even want her to. Aside from the biological fact of her motherhood, the child is more likely to be taken care of in somebody else's custody. Emily, played with uncomfortable realism by Maggie Cheung, is a fully realized character. She strives for good, but only when left with no choice. We root for everything to work out for Emily, but, much like her boyfriend's father, played by Nick Nolte, we fully expect that it won't.