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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:

(as Alejandro González Iñárritu)
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3,196 ( 464)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Paul Rivers
... Cristina Peck
... Michael
Carly Nahon ... Cathy
Claire Pakis ... Laura
... Jack Jordan
Nick Nichols ... Boy
... Mary Rivers
... Gynecologist
... Reverend John
Loyd Keith Salter ... Fat Man
Antef A. Harris ... Basketball Guy
... Marianne Jordan
... Freddy (as Marc Thomas Musso)
... 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:

Difference between dead and life 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

21 gram  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two 2003's releases starring both Sean Penn and Kevin Chapman. They also starred in Mystic River (2003). See more »

Goofs

When the doctor is listening to Paul's heart, he has his stethoscope in backwards. The ear pieces are supposed to face forward, but his are obviously facing backwards. In that position, not only would they hurt his ears, they would also hinder his ability to listen to the heart. 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

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Low Rider
(1975)
Written by Thomas Allen (as Sylvester Allen), Harold R. Brown, Morris D. Dickerson,
Lonnie Jordan (as Leroy L. Jordan), Charles Miller (as Charles W. Miller),
, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott (as Howard Scott) and Jerry Goldstein (as Harry Goldstein)
Performed by War
Courtesy of Avenue Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Esotercat's Riveting Review of "21 Grams"
30 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

Some movies are like a novel. Some movies are like a poem. Some films have flashbacks and flash-forwards. Some, like `Memento,' stretch the boundaries of convention and take wild risks such as moving the drama from the end to the beginning. `21Grams' is a cinematic poetic explosion, shaking all the pieces hard as hell, and then tossing them in the air to fall at random. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, he gives the audience the puzzle unraveled, demanding that we piece together the story from interlaced past, present and future events. It is part flashy gimmick, part artistic mastery, but always compelling.

This is not a film for either the faint of heart or lazy of mind. Nor is it for those who become frustrated by film that dares to step outside the linear plot and paint-by-numbers formula. The mishmash of past/present/future is allegorical in the sense that we all carry our past, all hinge our hearts on the future, and all struggle with a `present' as dotty and haunted as this film so wildly illustrates.

In `21 Grams' it is required that the viewer surrender. As in life, there is no control. I must admit that I became a bit antsy and pressed for answers when none were being provided. You are riveted by events and players that intermingle in a haphazard mishmash of time with a rebellious lack of structure. You can either go with the flow-or back out to your car. Since I saw only one person exit the theater, for any reason, in the 125 minutes running time, I conclude that the fully occupied theater was as riveted as I was, even to the point of extreme bladder control.

The performances are stunning. Sean Penn is always good, Benicio Del Toro solidifies his Oscar, and Naomi Watts is the big talent to watch. Her emotional honesty is beyond acting-I believed her to feel the pain she displayed.

The `plot' almost seems inconsequential. The film is about the depth of human feeling in our brief interplay between living and dying. It's about damnation and redemption, revenge and forgiveness, surrender and salvation. It offers no explanations. It merely illustrates the human experience in a trenchant manner that makes us aware that every minute of every day is a precarious drama that we look upon more lightly than we should. The dramatic cortex is the human heart-lost, gained, tormented, anguished and confused. The metaphorical context is the fleeting nature of each heart's temporal beat and our desperately valiant struggle to flesh out our mortal hearts' desires.


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