Things We Lost in the Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Things We Lost in the Fire Reviews

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½ August 5, 2013
Finely honed performances by Halle Barry and Benicio del Toro in Susanne Bier's American debut movie. A random act of violence leaves Audrey Burke (Berry) a widow whose evolving complex (ok, occasionally mysteriously motivated) relationship with her dead husband's dropped-out junkie best friend Jerry (del Toro) from suspicious dislike to warmth and compassion forms the, OK, not particularly original, storyline.
Bier's minimalist Dogma 95 direction has lots of close-ups of Berry and del Toro, and although in truth there are no very great demands on them, it is still a pleasure to watch bloody skilled acting. I was a little unhappy that the plot sometimes has the characters behaving in randomly improbable and inexplicable ways - hey, people do, and if Things We Lost in the Fire is not a better film, the shortcomings are mostly due to a rather clunky screenplay by Allan Loeb.
But as for the serious themes. Well, there's a nasty moment when Jerry almost sinks from being a heroin addict to being a mortgage broker. He is an ex (pre-heroin days) lawyer, and easily passes the requisite exam. At the end of the movie he seems well on the way to rehabilitation, but worryingly, his old mortgage-broking groomer Howard (John Carroll Lynch) is back in the neighbourhood having, in typical addictive fashion, returned to the wife he had left. Scary stuff, and we are in the end left wondering if Jerry is really cured, or if like so many will return to mortgage brokering, destroying not only his own life, but those of many other innocent people.
August 2, 2013
The first half is a little slow but it picks up in the end. As usual Del Toro does a superb job.
July 20, 2013
Fantastic movie, very intense, very real, touching, heart-breaking, inspiring.
½ June 22, 2013
Artfully filmed, with moving and three-dimensional performances by Berry and del Toro. A bit on the depressing side, but thought-provoking. A story that will take you in. Kudos to David Duchovny for accepting a relatively small (but important) role.
½ May 27, 2013
Ambitiously incorporating major themes to represent an insightful portrayal where its performances have a lovable human touch.
½ April 28, 2013
Very well acted, thought provoking film with a hopeful message. The lessons and messages were nuanced rather than overplayed or rammed down your throat. Del Toro's performance was fascinating, even as he experienced painful withdrawal. You could read his thoughts with his every nuance. I like seeing Halle Berry in this type of film that shows her acting abilities, and she performed very well.
½ April 15, 2013
What is a person to do when the single most important person in their life is suddenly gone? What is to be done with the cold, empty space in their lives that has suddenly been voided. That's a question that lies just under the surface of Suzanne Biere's Things We Lost in the Fire, a melodrama about a sudden death and those who are left behind to fumble in the darkness for an answer.

Most certainly the despair falls on Audrey (Halle Berry) a beautiful housewife who, as the movie opens, is arranging a funeral for her beloved husband Brian (David Duchovney). He was shot to death while trying to stop a man from beating his wife in a parking lot. Audrey and Bryan were married for 11 years and the marriage has produced two children. Now in her grief, her eyes, her jawline and her body language reveal the inner turmoil of a woman who can't quite get a handle of the moment. She works frantically, with the help of her brother, to locate everyone that need to be notified about Brian's death. It isn't until the day of the funeral that she realizes that she forgot someone.

He is Jerry Sunborne (Benicio Del Toro), a former lawyer who is now a heroine addict. Jerry and Brian were buddies going back to the second grade. Audrey didn't approve of Jerry and that is probably why she forgot to call him. She invites him anyway, Brian would have wanted it. Jerry, trying a program to get clean, is surprised when she is invited to live in their garage. It would be better and safer than the flophouse where he currently resides.

With that idea in place, I settled back and waited for a romance to kick in, but this movie is smarter than that. It is the story of how two people are affected by this tragedy and the baby steps they take to get back on their feet. This, of course, would be nothing without great performances in the leads, starting with Benicio Del Toro as Jerry. He creates the sad portrait of a smart, damaged man who wants to make strides to get his life be in order after the tornado of heroine addiction. He was loyal to Brian because this was a man who never gave up on him.

I knew Del Toro was a good actor, but this movie helps me understand why. He has a deeply-lined, tired face that can reveal hidden dimensions of unspoken regret. He looks lived-in, not polished like a Hollywood movie star. He knows when to push a scene over the top and when the keep it close to the chest. Here he manages to keep from going over the top even in scenes when he trashing about in detox. Jerry is not your standard movie drug addict, he is a smart man who tries, time and again, to get himself clean. He fails but it doesn't discourage him. After Brian's death, he has a purpose.

Halle Berry surprised me. I've been complaining that ever since her Oscar win for Monster's Ball, she's been throwing away her talents on big-budget junk - movies that focus more on her body than her talent. Here, I think she gives her best performance as a woman lost in agony and grief, trying to find some way of getting a handle on Brian's death. Her performance is all in her eyes, which are deep and sad. There are moments in this movie when she quivers very lightly, until the end when the full grief hits her.

Things We Lost in the Fire was directed by Susanne Bier, a Danish director whose specialty is creating stories about family bonds. She directed Brothers and In a Better World, one of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language film. I love her characters, they don't walk or talk in a standard way. Although, as brilliantly written as the characters are in Things We Lost in the Fire, I think the ending is a little too clean. Both Jerry and Audrey go where we would expect them to go but it seems to let their grief off the hook a little too soon. Still, this is a movie about the journey, not the destination.
March 19, 2013
An emotional movie with a lot of flashbacks. We learn the story in a different way in order to feel the pain of the mother the children and the hsuband's best friend. It was pretty good and very sad in some parts
February 26, 2013
Things We Lost in the Fire is a stark, yet heartwarming, look at a widow with two kids who reaches out to her husband's lifelong friend who is a drug addict. The widow grapples with grief, loss, anger; the recovering friend accepts her help then tries to help her with her grief, anger and loneliness. 10/10.
February 3, 2013
pitch perfect. del toro is masterful.
½ January 30, 2013
The movie was okay nothing out of the ordinary seeking redemtion and change movie. Once again halley berry wasn't really good. Del toro was really good.
½ January 19, 2013
The powerful, nuanced performances and excellent camera work almost elevate the so-so script from being anything more than a run-of-the-mill melodrama.
December 30, 2012
Directed by Susanne Bier (Open Hearts (2002) and Brothers (2004)), produced by Sam Mendes and written by Allan Loeb (21 (2008) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), this is a moving and heavy going drama which owes a lot to Crash (2005). It has two powerful lead performances, but it does drag a bit in the middle and it could have done with being tighter. Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) was happily married to Brian (David Duchovny) for 11 years, and they had two children Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) and Dory (Micah Berry). However, Audrey gets tragic news from the police that Brian was killed trying to break up a fight, she's left distraught and grieving, unsure where to go with her life next. But she finds unexpected solace in heroin addict Jerry Sunborne (Benicio del Toro) who had been friends with Brian since childhood. Jerry moves in with Audrey and the kids, living in the garage, but he's finding it hard to stay off drugs. It's a sad and moving film, brilliantly filmed by Clint Eastwood's usual DP Tom Stern. It's got brilliant performances by Berry and del Toro, but Bier's decision to shoot it like a Dogme 95 film is a bit jarring, but it's got good intentions.
December 22, 2012
I think that this is going to be good
December 15, 2012
From the viewpoint of anyone in recovery from any addiction, this movie surely gives a vivid depiction of the intense situations an addict faces. The vivid and captivating portrayal by Benicio of his fight to go thru withdrawal is heartbreaking, almost spellbinding. Great acting for Benicio throughout the film. Hallie Berry is also very good. This film quite effectively portrays some of the saddest and most traumatic sides of human life. Very good movie except for foul language.
½ December 12, 2012
this was a good moving drama.
a lil slow in the beginning but the last hour delivers the message t ho.
halle berry nd benicio del toro they do a great job together.
December 10, 2012
Good to see Benicio Del Toro doing what he does best. That's being off his head on drugs aka Fear and Loathing. I spent the whole movie wondering if it was Halle Berry i was watching because the part looked like it was made for her. It was her. There was something a bit twisted about this drama, and a little bit ridiculous. Having kids, losing a husband and Taking in a heroin addict, and then asking him to 'help her sleep', had me cringing a bit. By the end of it all i come to the conclusion that it was all about 'letting go'.
½ December 7, 2012
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ






when i go to hell. they are gonna play this,the weatherman and spy kids 3d in one continious loop
December 7, 2012
Like 21 grams all over again witha romantic/tragedy twist?
½ December 2, 2012
This was actually a good movie. Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro did a great job. Its really sad though.
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