Forest Whitaker has loaned his credible voice to movies that serve up reality with just a touch of magic dust, such as 'My Own Love Song' starring Renee Zellwigger, but if your only introduction to Rupert Friend was as 'the colourful Mr. Wickham' in the most recent rendition of 'Pride and Prejudice' or maybe his strong performance as the husband of young Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) in 'The Young Victorians' or lastly and perhaps unfortunately as a new CIA agent brought in to play opposite Clare Danes in Showtime's 'Homeland', Season 2, this is the movie I would recommend to introduce yourself to this new voice to movies. His acting abilities have been noticed from the beginning, but other talents shine through in this lyrical, poetic tale of finding the courage to go on after unforeseen tragedy, and reach out to what may be waiting to light the way forward just on the other side of your bathroom wall. In this case, the bathroom is occupied at times, by another victim of tragedy, played by the delicious Clemence Poesy (In Bruges) who has found in Sam's (Rupert's) voice a reason to eventually want to allow the door they share to be opened. With Rupert locked out but welcomed to sing through the door, his soothing and capable jazz murmurings tell of a not heard from before trick in the bag this actor carries, he is a musician .
A tale told best with jazz music, in abundance, from neighboring locals coming in through the open window, purposely left open, allowing others seeking respite, or jazz lessons and perhaps understanding from one who has 'been there'. This movie sets itself apart with the strength of the characterization of Sam (Rupert), not merely a tragic figure, but as a once broken man who begins his rebirth into the world, and he takes prisoners, his conscience won't let him do otherwise. What a surprising talent in Friend, musician, singer, actor, young and very handsome, this tale is not for those who want meat with their potatoes, or it is if you can handle a sprinkling of magic in the garnish, but it is not to be missed by those who thrive on mystical parsley. A new favorite for me, to be sure!