Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “My first Del Toro movie, and Im impressed – Beautiful, Life-size and Realistic!”
Danish director Susanne Bier gained international acclaim when she was nominated for an Oscar for 2006’s AFTER THE WEDDING, but before that she had strong ties to the hyper-realistic, documentary style of the Dogme 95 group. In her U.S. debut, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, Bier effectively brings together her tendency towards soapy subject matter and her signature vérité style, creating characters with a depth and a human fallibility that are rare in Hollywood. Halle Berry (X-MEN, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD) stars as Audrey Burke, the stay-at-home wife of well-to-do real estate broker Brian (David Duchovny, TRUST THE MAN). They enjoy what is to all appearances a perfect marriage and family life, with two adorable children (Alexis Llewelyn and Micah Berry) and a fabulous house. Audrey’s life is shattered when Brian is killed attempting to intervene in a domestic dispute.
In her grief, Audrey reaches out to an unlikely ally: her husband’s childhood friend, Jerry (Benicio del Toro, TRAFFIC, 21 GRAMS), a 40-something heroin addict whose relationship with Brian Audrey has always resented. After Brian’s death, Jerry goes straight, and Audrey invites him to move into her home, where he bonds with Audrey’s kids and begins to heal. The uneasy, tense, and tender relationship that develops between Audrey and Jerry is the heart of the film, with del Toro’s charismatic performance suggesting realms of human experience previously uncharted on film: his portrayal of withdrawal symptoms rivals Ewan McGregor’s memorable TRAINSPOTTING scene. Berry takes more subtle risks with her role, testing the viewer’s sympathy with a somewhat prickly character. Allison Lohman (FLICKA) is a strong supporting character as a Narcotics Anonymous attendee with a crush on Jerry.