You’d be hard pressed to find a person who was more unsure of Warm Bodies than me when the trailer dropped. In this age of reboots and re-imaginings and remixes, this just seemed like another in the assembly line of ideas. Luckily the writers took care to develop a dynamite script that earns every laugh and dramatic beat, found the perfect director in Jonathan Levine, and captured a fine cast to make it all come to life. A lighthearted romp through the undead genre, Warm Bodies is the first real bright spot in this year’s opening slate of films. Read more on Warm Bodies (***)…
Rating: R for language throughout, sexual content, and some drug use.
Running Time: 99 Minutes Studio: Summit Entertainment Release Date: January 24, 2012
Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston.
For Your Consideration – Best Supporting Actress – Anjelica Huston Film: “50/50″ Director: Jonathan Levine Screenplay: Will Reiser RealisticNominations: Best Original Screenplay
Oscar Scene: “You never call me back.”
In Jonathan Levine’s “50/50″ critics praised the work of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the screenplay of Will Reiser but the work of Academy Award Winner Anjelica Huston was the high mark for myself in this decent story of a young man battling cancer. In her near fifteen minutes of screen time, Huston shatters the screen as the overbearing mother constantly worried about her cancer-stricken son and her Alzheimer’s taken husband.
Stricken with a shocking, confounding, and life-threatening cancer diagnosis, 27-year old Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to deal with realities he never could have anticipated in the brilliant “50/50″, a comedy/drama that takes a considerable amount of risk in conveying a story of this subject matter with a liberal mix of humor and drama. Adapted from screenwriter Will Reiser’s real life experiences in battling a dangerous and rare form of cancer, “50/50″ is a film of subtle power and effectiveness, one of the more dynamic surprises I have encountered in a long, long time.
There is cancer in my house, the bad kind: brain cancer. It is incurable. This cancer just sits, ever growing, hiding in the recesses of the brain too far down for the surgeons to cut out, waiting for the chance to erupt once again. This one is one of the least-understood forms of cancer, so the doctors know little about it. My wife has struggled through radiation and is now struggling through aggressive chemotherapy to treat what we have been told is a very malignant form of cancer in her brain. We figure we could sit around and cry about our plight, but instead we choose to laugh, or, as Renton suggests in Trainspotting (1996), choose life. What alternative is there, really?
50/50 (***) hit home with me in a very powerful way. Admittedly, I was concerned about seeing the film. When you are living the experience portrayed in the film, one tends to judge it in comparison to their lives. That might be an unfair standard to place on the film, but that’s the way it is with such subject matter. Thankfully, director Jonathan Levine and screenwriter Will Reiser have made an excellent, powerful and deeply moving film that permeates with the one thing we feel each and every day when all seems lost…hope. Read more on John’s TIFF Diary: Day Six…