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Personal Effects (2009)

R | | Drama | 27 March 2009 (Taiwan)
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Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (short story "Mansion of the Hill")
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Spencer Hudson ...
...
Hank
...
Brice
...
Camden
...
Tom
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Finneran
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Annie
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Beth (as Alissa Skovbye)
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Jose
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Larry
Brock Johnson ...
Mark
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Peggy
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Storyline

Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and goes to the trial of the accused murderer. He becomes friends with Linda, her husband murdered; she's raising a teen son, Clay, who's deaf. Walter gets Clay into wrestling. He accompanies Linda to events at a center where she works. He sees her at the courthouse. They wait for verdicts. Walter's mother takes her daughter's things to a rummage sale. Clay has his father's pistol. How will grief express itself? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The space between loss and love.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 2009 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Efectos personales  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ashton Kutcher's personal favorite of his movies. See more »

Goofs

Linda offers Walter a Marlboro Red cigarette outside the courthouse. He declines. She then pulls a cigarette out of the pack and lights it. The cigarette, and filter, are completely white. Marlboro regulars are white with a brown filter. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Clay: I collect goldfish. I keep them in a small tank in my bedroom. Other kids my age like dogs - if they like animals at all. But for me, it's goldfish. I understand them, living under water in a little bowl, hearing nothing, just watching everything through glass.
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Connections

References Late Show with David Letterman (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

To Leave It Behind
(Tony Dekker (as T. Dekker))
Performed by Great Lake Swimmers
Appearance Courtesy of Weework
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User Reviews

Personal Effects of Losing A Loved One
4 August 2010 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Hollander's 'Personal Effects' reminded me of 'In The Bedroom' and 'Monster's Ball'. It deals with similar themes of coping with the loss of a loved one. The story is treated with equal restraint. The character development is gradual and in accordance with how the layers unfold. The visuals are very detailed and photogenic. It has a certain poetic feel which is further substantiated by the amazing score. I'm actually in search of the soundtrack.

Ashton Kutcher may be an odd choice for the role but I appreciate his attempt to break away from the typecast goofball roles he's known for. Where his acting is concerned, it appears very formulaic. It lacks spontaneity but one can see the actor's effort. It may not be among the best examples of acting but he gets better in the latter scenes and overall turns in an adequate performance. Michelle Pfeiffer easily delivers a natural performance that just seems like a piece of cake for her. The actress knows her craft too well. Ditto for Kathy Bates who stands out in a supporting role. Spencer Hudson is a sincere actor.

The only thing that bothered me about this movie is its lethargic pace which is very slow in the first half. The director focuses too much on the closeups when much of it could have easily been trimmed. Moreover, I didn't understand the need to 'maintain the element of suspense' in the end when the viewer easily knew the outcome (hence no surprise)? There are a few plot holes like why Walter didn't empty the gun before returning it to Linda. These flaws are but a few and thankfully they don't dilute the film (as long as one has some patience to get through the first half)


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