This was, for want of better words, an enjoyable take on depression. Unlike the previous #midweekfilmclub pick The Debt, this film has just the two lead actors, who work well together and you really attach to them. Which you need to; the film’s two hours long and for me it feels it could have done with being 20 to 30mins shorter. Either way, Jessica Chastain appears for the 2nd month on the trot and despite the story being centred on Michael Shannon‘s character, she really does steal the show.
Her emotive performance was spot on. With Shannon having to follow previous #midweekfilmclub lead (and coincidentally fellow wonky eyed actor) Ryan Gosling in delivering a restrained performance. Unlike the perenially calm Gosling, the muted nature of Shannon’s acting through the majority of the film serves only to intensify the impact of the one scene where his character finally breaks and properly loses it. It’s cringing stuff to watch, but really well done.
It’s not the easiest watch all in all, but there’s a real warmth in their relationship and enough of a glimmer of hope that, despite everything, things will eventually be OK in the end. Or will they?…. You see, that’s something we never ascertain, as you’re left with a cliff-hanger of an ending, which in itself is fine, but it didn’t get enough time I felt. I’m not going to spoil things by revealing here, but 5 minutes more wouldn’t have hurt; after 120mins I wasn’t going to walk out!
7/10 – Overly long look at the effect of mental problems on marriage, with 2 strong lead performances. Nicely shot.