Watched Oct 29, 2011
Naz Hamid’s review:
First things first: f@!k cancer.
As someone who has come to terms with the idea (or is it fact?) that cancer is a real possibility to myself, and whose loved ones and friends have been directly affected by it, both for the bad and for the worst, this film was both one I was excited to see, but also dreaded to see.
The cast drew me in first of course: Seth Rogen, the ever-excellent Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Anna Kendrick (who was great in Up In The Air) and supporting roles by Bryce Dallas Howard and the always-classing-things-up, Angelica Huston.
I saw few trailers — one or two perhaps and just enough to know what the subject matter was. The film's poster makes is pretty clear.
The film is subtle — the kind of subtle that sneaks up on you and makes you feel like these are people you know, people you care about and people who could be you. In a word: (utterly, truly, sadly) realistic.
It's a film that's engaging from the beginning and has no Hollywood-ness about it. Setting the film in Seattle helps ground it and sets a tone that's not quite bleak and not quite sunny. The entire film has no high-highs (though there's plenty of getting high) and low-lows in a tidal sense. There's a wave to ride but it's not a tsunami. It's a small set of steady waves that you ride out with the characters in the film but builds into something that makes the bottom drop out.
It's also a story of redemption and love and how the emotions that are interwoven with the mundane, the tragic and the humourous appear in us daily.
It's a *quiet* film that goes deep but never forgets that we're all just people, trying to be human.