The absence of a reason or answer could fester in the heart and cause an abscess. Sadly I have had experience in this area. We had been dating for several months and it was somewhat startling to me how well everything was flowing between us. The times I spent at their studio apartment were almost magical because it never felt like we needed our own space throughout our times together for entire weekends. It was as if the walls of the apartment faded back into muted curtains of gauze, allowing us to nest into a secret protected area away from the hubbub of the world outside that was whining against the floor to ceiling windows. Then one day everything came crashing down. I was at home when I received their phone call; we had plans to get together later in the evening. They apologized and told me they could not do this anymore. When I asked what they meant, all they said was they could no longer be in this relationship and they hung up. I wondered if there was something I did as I poured over all of the memories I had stored from the two of us, searching for some type of answer. I did reach out to them to try and get an explanation but all of my attempts went unanswered. This was traumatic for me and so that is why I feel the way I do; the hurt will linger as long as there is no conclusion. Another example of the added pain to unanswered questions can be found in this dramatic film. AFTER a tragic, life altering occurrence Sarah and Phil, played by Olivia Wilde (Drinking Buddies, In Time) and Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde franchise, Old School), spiral out of control unable to help each other during their crisis. This film festival nominee had some intense moments, thanks to Olivia and Luke. I felt it was one of Olivia’s best performances to date. With Giovanni Ribisi (Ted franchise, Saving Private Ryan) as Tim and Ty Simpkins (Insidious franchise, Jurassic World) as Adam, the story was not easy to watch in some parts due to the heavy subject matter. The whole cast contributed to making this a believable film for me. Another thing I liked about this picture was the way they kept the dialog down to a minimum in several scenes. I felt it made them more powerful in conveying the emotions. Now there were a few scenes where I found the actions taking place were somewhat odd, wondering if it was created for added effect. I do want to add that some viewers may feel uncomfortable; not for any physical altercations per se, but for the authentic portrayal of a family in despair.
How does one handle tragic loss? For me, it can manifest into a physical pain that feels as if it is consuming my body. When a family member or friend experiences a heartbreaking loss, I never know what to say or do, always feeling I’m not doing enough for them. It is an uncomfortable feeling and it was this same type of feeling that welled up in me as I watched this powerful drama. Becca and Howie, played by Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, The Hours) and Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You for Smoking), were a married couple dealing with the heartbreaking loss of their son. Each of them had their own way in dealing with the loss. Unfortunately, this caused the bond between them to crack, bringing forth deeply embedded emotions. Even though I felt uncomfortable, I am grateful to have seen this raw yet beautiful movie. Nicole was wonderful in this role, easily conveying her feelings without uttering a single word. And I have to give her credit for hand picking Aaron to play her husband, for his performace blew me away. The depth and range of his emotions on display were a complete surprise. The play this movie was based on won the Pulitzer prize for best drama and was nominated for a Tony award. Even though the movie drew a feeling of discomfort out of me, it did not compare to what I witnessed in this intense actor driven film.
3 1/3 stars — DVD