Breathe In

Breathe In ★★★½

On paper this is a story about the midlife crisis of a married man, stuck in a job he never wanted and a wife that's rather condecending towards his aspirations. Add Felicity Jones into the mix, and any man would crumble. But it is never her fault, directly. Sure, she's the faucet, if you will, the presence that presents him with motive, means and opportunity, but she never acts upon moments, more than reacts. Doremus has too much love for Jones to make her into the bad guy of any story, of course. And I myself of course love her to death. It's pretty silly, and not at all healthy, and as a result I am doomed to be forever alone.

But as the story above unfolds, we are constantly introduced to classical sets, usually either through a piano or a string instrument of sorts, cello most of the time, to each and every scene. It's as much a love letter to music and musicians, or maybe artists is a better word, as it is a slow, delicate, deliberately paced picture of a desintegration of a family. The wife is played by Amy Ryan, and she is her usual steady self, helping to create the right environment for the story. I didn't care for the daughter at all, but the story wouldn't work without one, of course. Guy Pearce on the other hand is great in a type of role at least I haven't seen him in before.

For a good hour or so, it gently floats along in a soothing fashion only to jolt us back into reality as the truth hits home across the table during the last third, and the fairytale is over.
I'm no big fan of the ending myself, but it does have a certain bittersweet quality, and as much as I personally would enjoy a harmless peak under her sweater, the affair is beautiful and caressing and never gratuitous.

A step back compared to Like Crazy it might be, but I will look out for Doremus' next project.

Thomas liked this review