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Posted October 1, 2010
Things Left Behind - 'Good Stuff'
PERSONAL EFFECTS is a solid little film written by director David Hollander and the fine novelist Rick Moody. The premise is a study of how the traumatic deaths of people affect those left behind. The story is well told, allows the audience to explore the group therapy approach offered to families of violently killed people - the various means of responding to loss, the differing reactions from those who cannot let go of the hate they have for losing a loved one, and introduces an interesting concept of having one of the characters who narrates the film be a deaf mute young man!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Gloria (Kathy Bates) is the mother of twins - the girl was been brutalized and murdered and the boy Andrew (Ashton Kuchter) has left his career as a wrestler to return to the scene of the crime to mourn his sister and to demand the perpetrator be convicted and imprisoned: his career has been put on hold and he ekes out a living dressed as a chicken for a fast food chicken restaurant. During the ongoing twin's trial, Andrew meets Linda (Michelle Pfeiffer) whose alcoholic husband has been killed and she is left to support her teenage deaf mute son Clay (Spencer Hudson). Through series of grieving meetings and periods of isolation on the part of each of the characters, each finds ways to support the other and a love affair develops between the older Linda and the younger Andrew as he agrees to accompany her to her various weddings for which she serves a planner. How these characters comes to grips with resolution of their losses is well tied together by film's end.
This is not a great movie, but the performances by the leads are quite fine. This is a movie with a message, one that delves into territory with which many are not familiar, and for that reason alone it is well worth watching. Grady Harp