The High Cost of Living (2011)
THE HIGH COST OF LIVING is the story of a young pregnant woman whose world falls apart when she loses her baby in a hit and run accident. It starts with an accident. Henry (Zach Braff) makes a wrong turn and crashes into Nathalie (Isabelle Blais). In a fit of panic, and over the legal limit, he cuts and runs, leaving Nathalie lying in the street, unconscious, bleeding and eight months pregnant. She wakes up in the hospital only to find her bright future destroyed and the baby she is still carrying, dead. Her husband, Michel (Patrick Labbé) is too unnerved and emotionally bereft to deal with the tragedy. As her life unravels, she stumbles across Henry - who has been searching for his victim. Unaware of what he has done, Nathalie sees him as an unlikely guardian angel, everything Michel is not - compassionate, charming and a little crazy. She finds a welcome relief in the tall, rumpled stranger that seems only too willing to offer her refuge. But Henry has his own problems. His past misdeeds are catching up, and he soon discovers that the police are steadily closing in. The inevitable collision will force both Henry and Nathalie to confront loss, labour and life, and to ultimately decide whether the cost of living is worth the price. -- (C) Official Site … More
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Critic Reviews for The High Cost of Living
So artistically well-intentioned and earnest in its ambitions that you can almost forgive the banality of its every scene.
Movies often make too much of that truism, but surprisingly committed performances from actors like these can still make it feel like something meaningful.
Chow and her actors are so gifted that this fragile situation escapes contrivance to become a poignant, romantic and deftly nuanced revelation of character and emotions.
An already iffy premise is badly served by a film that is tonally jarring.
Although there are moments when lead thesps Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais just about pull off the implausible conceit, the pic still suffers from major problems of tone as well as stilted camerawork and editing.
An engaging movie about commingled grief and regret, well staged and captured by cinematographer Claudine Sauve in a manner that works with the material to effect a depressive, melancholic tone.
The High Cost of Living is yet another example of the high cost (for moviegoers) of lowered production barriers for aspiring filmmakers.
Now this is drama!... just throws the most awful situation at her characters and watches them deal with it.
Off-beat delivery and acting redeem this modestly budgeted "redemption" story.
Chow's direction shows a good eye for locations, but her gritty nighttime aesthetic can't cloak the predictable nature of the material, which only really has one way to go and staggers there down the home stretch.
I'm still not sure how The High Cost Of Living made it onto Canada's Top Ten, let alone how it took the best Canadian first feature award at TIFF last year. It's just not very good.
Audience Reviews for The High Cost of Living
A film that more the likely you will not see in the theater unless you go to a film festival. This is one outstanding movie. Henry is a drug dealer in Canada, Nathalie is a women in a relationship that comes to an end when she is about to have a baby and Henry hits her with his car by accident. So stars a great love story with sad outcome. 5 stars for this one. 12-1-12More
Good movie about humanity, suffering, and the need for redemption. This movie points out that life isn't all black and white, there is an area of gray that covers most human interaction. Zach Braff, and Isabelle Blais, do a fantastic job here. Very moving film. A perfect, and fitting ending, too....More
A drug dealer hits a pregnant woman and later befriends her.
As much as I like Zach Braff, I found it difficult to believe his performance as a drug dealer. The film doesn't follow his business workings too closely, and it's a good thing because the genial, charismatic Braff looks out of place with a five o'clock shadow and a cigarette. Most of the drama takes place between Braff's character and an inscrutable performance by Isabelle Blais. The result is a film that is remarkably improbable but also quite predictable.
Overall, I'm all for actors who expand their boundaries, but this is what it looks like what an experiment goes wrong.
"High Cost of Living" is a tale not many people will enjoy. It's a story about Henry(Zach Braff) who goes out one night and not paying attention while he drives he hits Nathalie(Isabelle Blais). Henry in a panic, leaves the scene of the accident. Nathalie happens to be pregnant and loses her baby. The rest of the movie is about how they deal with the accident, and how they begin a relationship with each other, even though Nathalie doesn't know what Henry did. Its an intriguing premise, but it's a pretty dull movie. Braff is great with these dramatic roles, which is funny considering he is known for "Scrubs" and it's great comedy. A bit of a warning, the movie is set in Montreal and there are a lot of subtitlles. I don't mind subtitles, but I had no idea this movie would be so French heavy. Although the subject is very dramatic, the movie never goes into medlodramtic territory. Instead it keeps a good realtistic balance. If you want to watch a low budget, hard drama, then you may like this. Otherwise, just skip, you can find a lot better.More
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