Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Things We Lost in the Fire Review

After the car crash of Over Her Dead Body anything was going to cheer me up. Little did I know it would be a deeply dramatic drama about a junkie and a widow staring an actress I've never been a fan of and using the over-used theme, as discussed in the last review, of coping with loss.

But thankfully it isn't so much another film about coping with loss, but more a film about coping with the fact that you know you've already experienced the best thing in the world. For Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) its the loss of a perfect family. For Jerry Sunbourne (Benicio Del Toro) its the loss of enjoyment of anything since his first hit. And both of them have to cope with the loss of the wonderful David Duchovny.

If you didn't know it was a European director before you go into the theatre you're sure to know by the end. Extreme, extreme closeups, a back and forth narrative and characters over plot, are all pulled off well by Susanne Bier. And the performances she gets out of the main trio are in a word tremendousio. I don't care if its a word, they are. I've always thought David Duchovny was the ideal husband and here he proves it. Not having seen Monsters Ball I can't say whether Halle Berry has been good in more than one film, but she's definitely good in this.

Benicio Del Toro deserves the most praise. Its even enough to warrant a trip to your multiplex for him alone. While it is a very actorly performance (playing a junkie = Oscar bid) he really is remarkable. Its been a bit too long since he graced our screens. Its good to have him back. The message of the film is 'Accept the good'. This is.

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