There's a lot going on beneath the surface, and the cast is more than up to the challenge. Gyllenhaal delivers yet another profoundly introspective performance, while Hoffman and Sarandon capture their characters with amazing depth and humour and Pompeo gives a promisingly non-stereotypical turn as an independent woman who's deeply in denial. (Plus, we also get the marvelous Hunter and Coleman in key minor roles). Silberling's script tackles the whole concept of grief from a new angle, deftly avoiding cliches and bringing the characters' raw honesty to the surface. But there are problems: The romance between Joe and Bertie seems strangely tenuous, because both of them have so much baggage (her boyfriend is missing in Vietnam, which is one of the reasons for the 1973 period, besides the title Rolling Stones song). It's hard to believe that they are "meant for each other", as the script so unsubtly states while it ratchets up the emotion. Still, the rest of the story is compelling and effective--here the film's emotions are much more authentic and moving. And it's worth the price of admission for the performances alone.
dir-scr Brad Silberling|
with Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Ellen Pompeo, Holly Hunter, Dabney Coleman, Allan Corduner, Richard T Jones, Aleksia Landeau, Mary Ellen Trainor, McNally Sagal, Careena Melia
release US 4.Oct.02; UK 21.Feb.03
Like father and son. Joe and Ben (Gyllenhaal and Hoffman) take a walk...
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