“Life Itself”–a movie review   1 comment


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I am a sucker for a love story and “Life Itself” has 3-4 of them intertwined with at first very little connection and requires the audience members having to do some thinking and keep the various times tracks in mind.

I very seldom, if ever, read critic’s reviews before I see a movie and I had already made up my mind to see this movie as I am a fan of “This Is Us” and never miss it on Tuesday evenings. Dan Fogelman, who produces and directs that television show, also produced and directed this movie. Rotten Tomatoes professional critics gave it a 13% rating while the audience gave it a 73% rating and metacritics.com gave it 21 negative reviews, 7 mixed and 1 positive. Folks, that 73% audience rating know what they are talking about!

As the narrator says, “…life is tough, it brings you to your knees, but you get up and keep going because you never know when happiness will rise from the ashes.” The large cast shows just how true that is, all giving sharp performances.

Samuel L. Jackson has the opening scene, which is misleading, in the first of the 5 chapters that the movie is divided into. Jean Smart, throwing off a funny one liner has very little to do while Mandy Patinkin and Annette Bening, in their cameos, add classy scenes. Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde are college sweethearts who start the story as lovers who propel the rest of the story. Sergio Peris-Mencheta is a standout after being introduced in chapter 3 along with Antonia Banderas who shows why he is still a star. Laia Costa as a young bride continues the story giving birth to a son, Alex Monner, who goes to college in New York, meets Oliva Cooke who brings chapter 5 to an end.

The large cast is directed by Dan Forgelman, who also wrote the script, and like the director of photography and production designer Gerald Sullivan, scenes from New York city streets to olive plantations in Spain run smoothly and move from scene to scene smoothly. The only jarring note, for me as I am not a fan, is the music of Bob Dylan.

While “Life Itself” is not a must see movie it is a lot better than most movies in theaters—anyone for “We the Animals”?—now and all those million of “This Is Us” fans will definitely enjoy the approach, script, direction and production values of this different movie.

Movie Trailer


this life

One response to ““Life Itself”–a movie review

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  1. Good cast. And I’m a sucker for love as well!

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