Long Way Down

A Long Way Down

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Cast: Pascal Chaumeil, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots

     
 

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Four suicidal strangers find support in the last place they ever expected to in this emotionally charged comedy-drama based on the novel by Nick Hornby. It's New Year's Eve in London, and disgraced television personality Martin (Pierce Brosnan) is about to take a flying leap off of Topper's Tower when he's

Overview

Four suicidal strangers find support in the last place they ever expected to in this emotionally charged comedy-drama based on the novel by Nick Hornby. It's New Year's Eve in London, and disgraced television personality Martin (Pierce Brosnan) is about to take a flying leap off of Topper's Tower when he's interrupted by Maureen (Toni Collette), a lonely single mother who's reached the end of her rope. Meanwhile, as the pair realize their suicide plans have overlapped, onto the rooftop dashes Jess (Imogen Poots), a rebellious teen with nothing left to live for. Just when it seems this despairing group can't possibly get any bigger, rocker-turned-pizza delivery driver J.J. (Aaron Paul) shows up with a fresh pie and a death wish. Rather than taking the plunge together, the unlikely foursome decide to put their plans off until Valentine's Day -- sticking together and supporting one another in the interim. Later, as their friendship deepens, their unusual pact stirs a media firestorm. Sam Neill and Rosamund Pike co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Cammila Collar
A Long Way Down is a quirky film. Although it's based on a novel by beloved author Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), the premise that the four main characters come together because they're all planning to commit suicide from the same roof on the same New Year's Eve is a pretty cutesy contrivance on the surface. You'd think that, absent the filmmakers imparting some Harold and Maude-style black-comedy wackiness (which director Pascal Chaumeil doesn't really do), the story would end up dealing with the subject of mental illness too blithely for this to work. And indeed, the first 30 minutes contain some trite moments that make you wince in anticipation of the overly simple Hollywood plot devices that must surely be in store. But by the time you get to the second act, A Long Way Down ends up thoroughly defying all of the negative expectations that it lays down for itself. It becomes so heartfelt and real in its ultimate depiction of the hard-to-explain human condition that it makes you wonder if the clichés from the first reel were put there on purpose to juxtapose with the sobering content still to come. The first member of the foursome we get to meet is Martin (Pierce Brosnan), a former morning-talk-show host who was disgraced by a scandal that left him briefly in jail. We are then introduced to Maureen (Toni Collette), an unassuming woman with a very polite demeanor; Jess (Imogen Poots), an eyeliner-streaked waif with an aggressive streak; and J.J. (Aaron Paul), an American guy in London with a cool leather jacket and a pizza-delivery satchel. The group's awkward meeting on the roof stifles their plans to jump, but Martin's notoriety means that all of their names are soon in the papers; in their ensuing attempts to ride out the storm of controversy, they become a sort of surrogate family to one another. We come to know the various backgrounds of the four characters, and ultimately, their connections to each other seem to offer them a frame of reference for their lives that people without a similar sense of pain could never grasp. Seeing themselves through the eyes of someone else who "gets it" is healing in and of itself. And while each of them does get the chance to explore out loud what their reasons were for climbing up onto the roof that night, that doesn't mean those motivations are truly simple or even explicable. Far from it: Their reasons are heartbreakingly realistic in how illogical, uncomfortable, and often ephemeral they are. As one of them says while thinking back on that night, "It was more of a feeling."

Product Details

Release Date:
09/09/2014
UPC:
0876964007085
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
48,554

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pierce Brosnan Martin Sharp
Toni Collette Maureen
Imogen Poots Jess Crichton
Aaron Paul J.J.
Rosamund Pike Penny
Sam Neill Chris Crichton
Zara White Shanay
Joe Cole Chas
Josef Altin Matty
Diana Kent Hope
Shola Adewusi Gladys
Enrique Arce Angelo
Tuppence Middleton Kathy
Christos Tolera Paolo
Leo Bill Dr. Stephens
Honey Epstein Maisie

Technical Credits
Pascal Chaumeil Director
Christoph Daniel Executive Producer
Ben Davis Cinematographer
Odile Dicks-Mireaux Costumes/Costume Designer
Finola Dwyer Producer
Chris Gill Editor
Nina Gold Casting
Nick Hornby Executive Producer
Christine Langan Executive Producer
Dario Marianelli Score Composer
Chris Oddy Production Designer
Barney Pilling Editor
Amanda Posey Producer
Kle Savidge Musical Direction/Supervision
Marc Schmidheiny Executive Producer
Thorsten Schumacher Executive Producer
Dario Suter Executive Producer
Jack Thorne Screenwriter

Scene Index

Deleted scenes; Outtakes; Making of A Long Way Down: jumping in with cast and crew; On Toppers Tower: a behind the scenes view; Working with the director; Adapting the story; AXS TV: a look at A Long Way Down; Trailer

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