It is something many of us avoid talking about with each other. There are a few, the more practical ones, who at least took some steps to prepare for it one day. The thing about it though, is each of us learns about it at a young age and then we forget about it or push it to a far corner of our brain. However, no matter what you do to avoid it, it stays put like an exotic island in the ocean of your soul. The first time I experienced a death it was short and quick; they went into the hospital and died within 24 hours. When the next time came along it was ugly and drawn out. Their body was like a burning candle; it slowly melted away over time as the image of their skeleton became prominent. Because of that experience I pushed any thoughts about my own mortality deep down away from my conscious mind as best as I could. As the years roll by, if we are lucky, the beauty of our youth starts looking like a well-worn frayed, baggy sweater. Friends and family begin talking about what they would like to see happen for their final years. As I said if they are lucky to have lived a full long life. Maybe I should not say this but have you ever noticed how it sometimes takes someone’s early death to make someone else start to have more appreciation for their life? Can one say death is the ultimate reality check? UNFOCUSED and self-destructive James White, played by Christopher Abbott (Martha Marcy May Marlene, A Most Violent Year), did not know what to do when his mother Gail, played by Cynthia Nixon (5 Flights Up, Sex and the City franchise), had to battle a serious illness. It would be easier to run away. This film festival winning drama was one of the hardest movies I had to sit through in a long time. Not because it was bad or anything like that, it was due to it being so authentic. One had to hand it to both Christopher and Cynthia; their acting was outstanding. Granted the script was geared mostly to their characters; the other actors such as Scott Mescudi (Project X, Need for Speed) as Nick and Makenzie Leigh (The Slap-TV, Gotham-TV) as Jayne were fine but their characters were secondary. I am not sure how the general movie audience will react to this film; it is not the type of movie one leaves and wants to go out for a good time afterward. There were times I actually wished the story would end because I was watching some tough scenes. The theater I was in was utterly silent at the end of the film; everyone quietly filed out. I cannot imagine anyone who sees this film will not be moved in some way. In fact, this movie could certainly make one appreciate their life more.
3 1/4 stars