Friday, February 26, 2010
Brosnan and Sarandon are married and play the grief stricken parents of two teenage boys, one of whom dies suddenly in a horrific traffic accident at the very beginning of the film. Sarandon is excellent and demonstrates she is a superior actress in her portrayal of a mother grieving I would almost say to the extreme. She is haunted by what happened to her son, by the fact that he stayed alive for 17 minutes and that she was not there to help him. She simply cannot get over the loss and resents her husband for moving on so quickly. A very poignant scene occurs when he offers her a bell, a sort of tool to help her with her grief, and tells her to ring it each time she thinks of their deceased son. She takes the bell from him and starts ringing it- non-stop. This and many other moments were extremely sad, showing how people cope with loss in very different ways.
Things get even more complicated with the early appearance of Carey Mulligan's character, the girlfriend of the late young man, and her surprise announcement. This leads to even more sadness and hurtful reminders for the mother, but also a certain easing of the pain for the father, which inevitably results in great tension between the couple. Sarandon gets especially furious, distressed and jealous when, trying to reach her husband during a break down, she finds his phone turned off and learns subsequently that he had gone to the movies with the young girl. The scene escalates so much with an almost silent force that Brosnan picks her up and throws her fully clothed into the ocean, to awaken her and make her see that her anguish is unreasonable and causing pain to the rest of the living members of their family.
The younger brother, appearing almost indifferent at first, succumbs to his emotions in the second half of the movie. The father, who keeps a cool demeanor and tries to hold the family together through his strength also finally collapses and interestingly, Sarandon picks up where he left off and comforts him, telling him that their son did not suffer. The whole family and their links are very credible and Brosnan astonished me by being particularly realistic.
Even if this movie is almost painful to watch due to the difficult subject matter, it is very well acted and written, making it extremely emotional and powerful. It ends well so do not be too afraid, but if you are a crier, a tear or two will definitely be shed.
My rating: 8
Total score: 15.5