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21 Grams (2003)

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A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

Director:

Alejandro G. Iñárritu (as Alejandro González Iñárritu)
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Popularity
2,749 ( 27)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Paul Rivers
Naomi Watts ... Cristina Peck
Danny Huston ... Michael
Carly Nahon Carly Nahon ... Cathy
Claire Pakis Claire Pakis ... Laura
Benicio Del Toro ... Jack Jordan
Nick Nichols Nick Nichols ... Boy
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Mary Rivers
John Rubinstein ... Gynecologist
Eddie Marsan ... Reverend John
Loyd Keith Salter Loyd Keith Salter ... Fat Man
Antef A. Harris Antef A. Harris ... Basketball Guy
Melissa Leo ... Marianne Jordan
Marc Musso ... Freddy (as Marc Thomas Musso)
Teresa Delgado ... Gina
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Storyline

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English émigré; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. Written by Miguel Cane (Stepford@yahoo.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How much does revenge weigh? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

21 gram See more »

Filming Locations:

Memphis, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$274,454, 23 November 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,248,701, 21 March 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Spanish-language dedication to María Eladia at the end, "pues cuando ardió la pérdida, reverdecieron sus maizales," translates literally as "for when the loss burned, their cornfields became green again." See more »

Goofs

When Cristina is getting her car and tells the valet, "I don't need a fuckin' taxi," her lips do not move. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael: Check, please.
Cathy: Look Daddy, a volcano.
[Cathy blows bubbles into her soft drink]
Michael: It's very pretty. Drink up your volcano. All right. We're going. Mommy's waiting.
Cathy: Daddy, please. Just one more minute.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A María Eladia, Pues cuando ardió la pérdida Reverdecieron sus maizales See more »

Connections

Referenced in Post Grad (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Back There In My Mind
Written by Marty Jensen
Performed by Scott Eversoll
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely good, extremely powerful
21 March 2004 | by Collaroy-BeachSee all my reviews

I'm actually the opposite of a drama fan- but this movie really touched me, and although it's quite tough to take in, I loved it.

I think above all, one has to bow to Guillermo Arriaga, the writer, as "21 Grams" features probably the best script I've ever seen. I guess the story itself is not that new, but the way how it's done is simply excellent. The first, say, 30 minutes are just scraps- moments in the lives of the three main characters that mean absolutely nothing to the viewer (yet). Adding to that initial confusion is the fact that these scraps are not in temporal order so that in the beginning personally I wasn't sure I'd be able to follow- it was more like a music video that's just not making any sense at all. But then the pieces begin to come together just beautifully until in the end you can see the whole picture. Usually in these episode movies everything comes together at once somewhere in the middle of the film, but in "21 Grams" the viewer puts the pieces together one after another- like a jigsaw puzzle, and every bit as satisfying when everything's completed. This truly is a masterpiece script-wise, and I've never seen anything like it.

That brilliant script is supported by excellent actors. Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro are delivering the most convincing acting performance I've ever witnessed. Like when Christina (Watts) screams at Paul (Penn) trying to get rid of all of her anger, frustration, grief and hate: I usually think these emotional outbursts don't seem real on screen, but in this movie it is just deeply touching. I haven't seen "Mystic River" yet, but if Sean Penn was as good as he is in "21 Grams" then the Oscar finally really went to someone who truly deserved it. And Benicio del Toro really is every inch the wonderful actor his reputation claims (I saw him for the first time but had heard a lot of him before, so I was very curious).

Finally, thank you, Mr. Inárritu for putting everything together this nicely. You've made a very impressing 100 % quality movie.


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