Things We Lost In The Fire (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/10/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Susanne Bier's first English-language film is a superbly written, powerfully emotional drama with terrific, Oscar-worthy performances from Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro.

What's it all about?
Danish director Susanne Bier (Brothers, Open Hearts) makes her English-language debut with Things We Lost In The Fire, starring Halle Berry as Audrey Burke, a grieving widow and mother to two children (Micah Berry and Alexis Llewellyn), whose devoted husband Brian (David Duchovny) was recently killed while trying to help someone. Attempting to come to terms with her grief, she seeks out Brian's best friend, long-term drug addict Jerry Sunborne (Benicio Del Toro), someone she had always disapproved of, even though Brian had never given up on him.

Jerry, in turn, is equally devastated by Brian's loss and when Audrey offers him a spare room, he gladly accepts. As he enters recovery and begins to turn his life around, Jerry becomes an unexpected surrogate father and friend to the children and his presence gradually helps Audrey come to terms with her loss.

The Good
Susanne Bier has made a career out of powerfully emotional dramas and fans of her European films (Open Hearts, After the Wedding) will recognise her familiar themes in Things We Lost, which, in turn, bears several similarities to her previous film, Brothers. The script is fantastic, creating likeable, believable characters that we really root for.

Benicio Del Toro is terrific as Jerry, at once strong yet vulnerable, motivated by his emotional connection to Brian and his family, yet powerless in the grip of his addiction. In addition, Halle Berry gives her best performance since Monster's Ball, proving that all she really needs is a great script and a great director.

The Great
There's also strong support from David Duchovny (in flashback scenes) and from Alison Lohman (initially unrecognisable in a black wig) as a young woman that Jerry meets at Narcotics Anonymous.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is a wonderfully written, brilliantly directed and genuinely moving drama with terrific performances from its two leads, both of whom are almost guaranteed to be nominated come Oscar time. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Things We Lost In The Fire (tbc)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 06:50

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