*Online Premiere* Logline: A young construction worker places a bet on a soccer game hoping to change his luck, but fate has other plans. Our take: Matthew Leone’s “Better Days” is a down and out tale of New York, filmed on Super 16mm and nailing a gritty street realism with its authentic characters and locales, and from its fluid mix of spoken languages (Italian, Spanish, English). Struggling to stay afloat while his mother is sick in Italy, Salvatore makes a series of desperate moves. The soccer bet leads into a confrontation with his boss at work; coming clean to his barber about his money problems, results in getting sent on a sketchy chore to repay his debt. Meanwhile, looking to blow off steam at a local club, he meets a woman from the Dominican Republic and becomes infatuated, a glimmer of hope and a new set of stakes. For the most part shot in handheld single takes, this raw character study carries out its classic story with understated but gripping development. Leone himself plays the lead and it’s a great performance, expressive but wounded. [Watch on YouTube]. (17 minutes). Director: Matthew Leone. Cinematography / Editor: Robert Orlowski. Starring Matthew Leone, Wendy Hernandez, James Leone, and Benito Abraham.