6.2/10
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Personal Effects (2009)

R | | Drama | 27 March 2009 (Taiwan)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

David Hollander

Writers:

David Hollander (screenplay), Rick Moody (short story "Mansion of the Hill")
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Linda
Ashton Kutcher ... Walter
Kathy Bates ... Gloria
Spencer Hudson Spencer Hudson ... Clay
John Mann ... Hank
David Lewis ... Brice
Rob LaBelle ... Camden
Aleks Paunovic ... Tom
Brian Markinson ... Finneran
Sarah Lind ... Annie
Ali Skovbye ... Beth (as Alissa Skovbye)
Kyle Toy ... Jose
Dean Wray ... Larry
Brock Johnson Brock Johnson ... Mark
Mary Black ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 2009 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Efectos personales See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$471,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Was given a very limited release in theaters despite its A-list cast. See more »

Goofs

When Linda and Walter are riding on the bus, she spots someone on a side street. They start yelling for the bus driver to stop, which he eventually does. But when we see them stepping off the bus, it's right at the corner of the street where the person is. They would have had to walk back at least a block. 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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Shepherd
(Ryan Beattie)
Performed by CHET
Courtesy of CHET
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User Reviews

 
Things Left Behind - 'Good Stuff'
5 March 2009 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

PERSONAL EFFECTS is a solid little film written by director David Hollander and the fine novelist Rick Moody. The premise is a study of how the traumatic deaths of people affect those left behind. The story is well told, allows the audience to explore the group therapy approach offered to families of violently killed people - the various means of responding to loss, the differing reactions from those who cannot let go of the hate they have for losing a loved one, and introduces an interesting concept of having one of the characters who narrates the film be a deaf mute young man!

Gloria (Kathy Bates) is the mother of twins - the girl was been brutalized and murdered and the boy Andrew (Ashton Kuchter) has left his career as a wrestler to return to the scene of the crime to mourn his sister and to demand the perpetrator be convicted and imprisoned: his career has been put on hold and he ekes out a living dressed as a chicken for a fast food chicken restaurant. During the ongoing twin's trial, Andrew meets Linda (Michelle Pfeiffer) whose alcoholic husband has been killed and she is left to support her teenage deaf mute son Clay (Spencer Hudson). Through series of grieving meetings and periods of isolation on the part of each of the characters, each finds ways to support the other and a love affair develops between the older Linda and the younger Andrew as he agrees to accompany her to her various weddings for which she serves a planner. How these characters comes to grips with resolution of their losses is well tied together by film's end.

This is not a great movie, but the performances by the leads are quite fine. This is a movie with a message, one that delves into territory with which many are not familiar, and for that reason alone it is well worth watching. Grady Harp


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