On New Year's Eve in London, four strangers find themselves on the roof of a building known for suicides. Martin is a famous talk show host just out of jail, Maureen is a lonely single mother, Jess is young, reckless and heartbroken, and JJ is an American realizing the failures in his life. Through mutual pain and humour, this unlikely group take the long way down and figure out what will keep them alive until Valentine's Day, one step at a time. Written by
When JJ and Jess go to her special spot near where her sister went missing, they watch some swifts flying above them. Swifts are migratory and winter in the tropics and would not be flying in the UK between January and February when the film is set. See more »
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided to kill myself. That's the trouble with suicides, I've learned you can't cut the long story short, because it's the long story that people are interested in. Especially if you're me, which regrettably I was, and still am to this day. So, forgive me if you already knew this, but I'm Martin Sharp, the man who had everything. One wife, two children, three dogs, at least four People's Choice Awards, and five mornings a week on the most ...
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Poots is truly great and the plot and its twists are just fine behind her performance
A Long Way Down (2014)
There are a lot of films these days that set up this kind of comedy formula: an unlikely crisis forces strangers together, and they don't get along (at first). So you are dazzled by the odd circumstances, and by the funny ways people adjust. The plot then zigs and zags and eventually (of course) some or all of the main characters find their happiness. It's a good approach with the script sparkles and the acting is fun. "Chef" is a recent case, and even better is "We're the Millers."
"A Long Way Down" can't match up to those in terms of wit and sheer fun. But it has moments that click, and it has a knock out performance by one of the four leads, Imogen Poots. See it for her alone. Of course the biggest name is the former James Bond player (often voted one of the worst to take on that role), Pierce Brosnan, and he's meant to be a dull, superficial type here, so he comes through naturally. Throw in the ever talented Toni Collette and you have a good cast. (The fourth is Aaron Paul.)
The premise starts very fast, and is quite funny. In fact, I got my hopes ups that this was going to be a sizzling, truly great offbeat comedy just by the first ten minutes where it complicates quickly. You see, it's New Year's Eve and one of the four has gotten to the top of a tall London building and plans to jump. Then a second shows up and spoils his plans, and he decides to wait and let her jump so he can have the roof to himself. Then a third. And you see what is beginning to unfold.
You get some backstory details that are just enough to make you see their problems and also see that these are all really sympathetic characters. And of course they shouldn't be suicidal, not for real. There are further ups and downs as they help and then harm each other's emotional progress. And so on.
I liked it. And I loved the performance by Poots, who just slashes through the crap and lights up the screen. Is this a brilliant movieno. It's too much caught in the formula, so even the twists are expected. But I thought it was better than the reviews overall let on you might give it a go. Expect some light entertainment and you might be quite happy watching.
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