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This under-the-radar film about a guy who swims a good length of the
Hudson River in NY State down to NYC, is one of those warm indie films
that deftly balances drama with some humor. No surprise that it snagged
actors like Joseph Fiennes, Elizabeth Reaser (adding another fine
performance to her growing career since her debut in the great "SWEET
LAND"), Justin Kirk, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Mary Tyler Moore in a
notable supporting role.
The reason behind his swim I won't divulge here, but it makes for some powerful moments. As he swims, his 2 friends go along with him in a guide boat, and they come to shore for breaks, which leads to some great moments in the film. It's not all on the water. But when it is, it's riveting. As a viewer, I felt like I was swimming right there with him at times.
And the swimming scenes show off the wonderful Hudson Valley, and Joseph Fiennes looks like he really...um...took the plunge. That's really him in the water. Kudos to the filmmakers who must've been on the river an awful lot. (And to the camera people!) Hopefully this film finds its audience in other film festivals and in a future release.
I had the chance to see this at AFI festival in Dallas. The movie is
beautifully shot, and some of the scenes along the Hudson are gorgeous.
The story line is intriguing, and unfolds as the swimmer makes his way
through the challenge of swimming the Hudson. As the first reviewer
said, he has a tragic story that compels him to take on this feat. I
won't divulge the details, but as his story comes out, it makes you
think hard about some of life's issues. Definitely worth seeing.
The dialog is also well-written. Although this is not a comedy, the dialog is often quite funny. Fiennes may have gorgeous eyes, but I thought Justin Kirk's character really stood out in the film.
This movie took my breath away. I LOVE Justin Kirk, that guy is amazing
and he did not disappoint. I won't give away any spoilers but the story
completely pulls you in and you can't wait to see what happens next.
I don't know that I loved the sideline with Mary Tyler Moore. I can see its value but I just wanted to see more of the three core characters. I also think they could've done more with the storyline with Justin Kirk's character and the difficulty with his wife.
This film is gorgeous to watch but will also stay with once the end credits are done rolling. Best to see it with someone so that you can discuss it afterwards!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is so nice to see a thoughtful film made for adults. The
performances of Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Reaser were
all excellent - considered and lacking in histrionics. Fun to see
cameos by Mary Tyler Moore and Michelle Trachtenberg.
Some people might find this slow-paced but it held my attention throughout. The scenery down the Hudson River was a revelation.
* * * SPOILERS AHEAD * * *
The subject matter of suicide was handled very well. The two issues of whether someone has the right to take their own life and the reality of the pain of emotional, as opposed to physical, damage to a person were treated deftly and with subtlety.
All in all this is a wry, adult film which will linger in the mind long after the titles cease rolling.
Very moving. Everything about this movie worked for me. Top-notch acting. Great dialogue. Fantastic cinematography. I don't get all the wannabe critics, ready to call out directors, using terms like "heavy handed," "pretentious," etc. This was a compelling story, and any departures from the main story were there to add humanity. Everyone involved should be very proud. They made a movie that was different, and worth our time. (mine, anyway) The ending left no doubt in my mind what happened. I didn't find any ambiguity whatsoever. I felt it was moving, and insightful. I think people need to open up to those films that are a little different. This is one such film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a quiet film that grows on you. The three main characters are
very real and their interaction grows on you. For me the dialogue was
very authentic between the main actors and the subsidiary ones in the
film and at times quite humorous.
It's got a sensitive approach to a touchy subject which is suicide, but by no means does this permeate the entire film. The film is slow-paced and the emphasis is on character development and interplay. There are no high-powered revelation scenes but there is a humble intensity through-out.
The only one warning I have is that the ending lets you decide for yourself what will happen.
The movie recently was running on Showtime and got TiVo'd last night. Watched because I like both Justin Kirk and Joseph Fiennes. So I watched this lazy Saturday early morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just what a quiet morning needs. The scenery along the Hudson Valley is spectacular and I felt I was rolling along in the boat. I think Justin Kirk was just right (as usual) with his character, no over the top stuff. Mary Tyler Moore was a hoot and hopefully we can see more of her. The subject matter is a bit disconcerting but it kept me intrigued. Not only was the story and scenery compelling, the music captured my attention also. The movie was well done...., Just watch while you can let yourself be carried along slowly. I gave it a rating of "9" since it i liked watching it and when it was done, stayed with me emotionally. Does cause one to consider uncomfortable situations....morally and ethically. Enjoy.
Paul Thompson (Joseph Fiennes) is haunted by the lost of his pregnant
wife Amy. He talks his bartender best friend Jeff Kane (Justin Kirk) to
help him swim the length of the Hudson River. Acquaintance Liz Clark
(Elizabeth Reaser) is intrigued and joins the merry band. Later, Paul
reminds Jeff that his planned end date is the fifth anniversary of
Amy's death. He tells his fellow travelers that he plans to kill
himself at the end of their trip.
I really love this trio. They have fun chemistry. They have also great depths. They have great interactions. I almost don't want them to have that detour with Michelle Trachtenberg and Mary Tyler Moore. The stars' presence took me out of the trio's journey. Instead, I would keep them interacting with non-stars. The best joke is the guy passing by in the truck yelling f*ggot at them. Each one of the three contributes something great to the group.
Overall a good movies. The story slowly built as we learned more and more about each of the characters. The movie was a bit boring at some points as what felt like half the movie. This was probably because of the numerous montages of boats and swimming on the Hudson river. While this was beautiful and the music was generally good it made me loose interest during those sequences. But I found the story to be moving and the acting was well done. I particularly like Justin Kirk. He brought a lot of much needed humor to the film that dealt with some really heavy stuff. Over all a good watch if you want a quiet reflective movie. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.
This movie has a character who's very relatable, a character who wants to accomplish something great in his life, something he can say he actually "did." This is something many people wish they had the courage to do- to actually "do" something rather than just talking about doing it. It was inspiring to see it in this film. The cinematography is stunning and beautiful. That in of itself is a reason to watch this movie. Everything from the sound of lapping water to large cargo ships passing by all present a fluid and calming picture. I wont go into the storyline here, but suffice it to say it is satisfying and flows smoothly. The movie has bits of dark humor and funny moments, all of which elicited laughs. It's certainly not a comedy however, but these moments provide needed comic relief. Each of the starring actors gave phenomenal performances. Joseph Fiennes is remarkable as the haunted Paul Thompson, and Justin Kirk provides lighthearted relief as his friend, Jeff. Elizabeth Reaser complements the ensemble with more fantastic acting. Overall a great piece, with a strong story and strong cinematography
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