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Things We Lost in the Fire
     

Things We Lost in the Fire

4.7 4
Director: Susanne Bier,

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny, Alison Lohman

 

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A woman who lost her husband in a random act of violence and a heroin addict who was a lifelong friend of the dearly departed discover that the beloved husband and friend's unfortunate passing is actually a blessing in disguise in Open Hearts director Susanne Bier's Dogme-style drama. When her husband (

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Things We Lost in the Fire 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Few films released last year have the quiet sensitivity in writing (Allan Loeb), direction (Susanne Bier), cinematography (Tom Stern), and acting (Berry, Del Toro, Duchovny) as this gem of a movie. Taking on a subject of grief after a sudden traumatic death and the way it affects family and friends would seem like a tedious subject for a two hour film, but THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE proves again that care and devotion in telling a difficult story with restraint and tenderness is far more compelling that many of the 'big' movies that fill the theaters with more superficial topics. Brian Burke (David Duchovny) is a generously warm man to his beautiful wife Audrey (Halle Berry), their son Dory (Micah Berry), and daughter Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) as well as to his longtime, childhood friend Jerry Sunborne (Benecio Del Toro) who is constantly struggling with an addiction to heroin. Brian is suddenly dead as the film opens and the friends are gathered at the Burke home for the funeral. Audrey is devastated by the abrupt loss and quietly bears her shock in order to be present for her children. During the reception Audrey suddenly remembers she has not informed Brian's best friend Jerry of his death and sends her brother to fetch him for the services. We meet the wasted Jerry, the shambles of his heroin-addicted life obvious in his tiny apartment, and yet when Jerry hears the news of Brian's death, he is profoundly shocked: Brian is the only friend he has. Jerry makes himself presentable and attends the funeral and despite the fact that Audrey had always considered Jerry a 'weight' on Brian, the two offer each other a zone of connection that cannot be filled by any other. Slowly Jerry becomes part of the Burke household and his role in offering love to the children and solace and protection to Audry results in changes in Jerry's life that provides one bit of evidence of the redemption that can occur from shared grieving. 'Things', such as those items lost in a fire at the Burke's in the past, are simply 'things': interpersonal connection, hope, and the 'light from within' are what truly matter. Berry and Del Toro give finely nuanced performances in these difficult roles, further establishing their credentials as being two of our finest actors in film. But the entire cast of this film is pitch-perfect and under the direction of Bier communicates powerfully with the viewer. The extraordinary camera work concentrates on extreme closeup views of eyes, hands, lips and tears and allows the viewer an intimate relationship with these characters. Johan Söderqvist provides a subtle musical score that underlines the story without calling attention to itself. For this viewer this is hands down one of the finest films of 2007. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
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