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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
3,081 ( 226)
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 life 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 film was shot in chronological order (even though it's not in chronological order in its final cut). See more »

Goofs

When Paul Rivers walks away after telling Jack Jordan to leave, the cameraman's shadow can be seen on the ground and bushes in front of him 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

Thanks to ÁLos amo! See more »

Connections

Featured in 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Can We Get Together
(2003)
Written by Renee Funderburgh, Anson Funderburgh and John Street
Performed by Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets (as Anson Funderburgh and Rockets)
Licensed courtesy of Bullseye Blues & Jazz, a Rounder Records Group label
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Structure over unity
23 November 2007 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

'21 Grams' tells of a number of loosely interlinked characters in an achronological fashion, jumping backwards and forwards over their stories. There can be reasons for doing this: for example, to reveal the plot in a way that offers an extra kick, or to enable the plot to conclude with a scene from the middle of the story that gains impact from the viewer's prior acquaintance with what happens next. Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' justified its own complex plot structure on both of these grounds. But in the case of this film, I couldn't see how telling the story in such a broken way was supposed to add anything; and the fact that most of the leading characters possess a death wish (or at least, very little will to go on living) hardly aided my emotional involvement. At times, the film appeared to be shaping into a story about the possibility (or otherwise) of redemption; but it never quite grew into anything more the harrowing tale of a number of people who suffer and (in some cases) die. The pretentious voice-over from Sean Penn's character that ends the film (and accounts for its title) felt to me like a desperate (and failed) attempt to inject some meaning into a movie strangely devoid of it.

That said, the acting is good, and the film is undoubtedly skilfully made. But "people die" is not, in itself, an adequate or interesting unifying theme.


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