Director Brett Haley, who co-wrote the film with Marc Basch, has managed to create a film about those final years that gets to the heart of things like loss and love without patronizing or parody. No small thing to create a movie whose cast is mostly in their 70s yet whose story is so relatable whatever your age.
The plot is lean, the dialogue is spare and there are some intriguing stabs at intellectual and emotional terrain. But the pacing is deadly, so slow there might be time for a catnap or two without missing anything important.
There is a great deal of silliness about Allan's journey from start to finish and no real message other than to never stop taking life as it comes. But there is also a great deal of fun in watching a 100-year-old man climb out a window and disappear.
Between the sheer on-screen beauty and the finely wrought performances of Mulligan and Schoenaerts, Far from the Madding Crowd has its appeal. Yet like unrequited love, one can't help but lament what might have been.
Knowing the outcome behind the true-life tragedy 24 Days doesn't diffuse the horror, the tension or the sadness of watching one family's drama unfold day after agonizing day when a son is kidnapped and hope dies.
Stewart does exactly what Valentine describes as Jo-Ann's great gift — she becomes the character, completing disappearing inside Valentine. It makes the interplay between Binoche, a master of that sort of disappearing act as well, and Stewart mesmerizing to watch.
The banter between Brian and Arielle is easy and often amusing. But despite all the tangled sheets and entwined bodies during assignations at the St. Regis hotel, the relationship never moves beyond the look of puppy love.
Though it might not sound it, watching Kumiko brood is mesmerizing. Kikuchi uses her mournful eyes to take us to dark places, though she's equally adept at surprise and confusion, even joy when it comes along.