This film paints an extraordinarily frank picture of both the physical and emotional sides of life with ALS, yet it does so without beating the viewer over the head with gruesome details or melodramatic pleas for sympathy (or contributions to some ALS research foundation). The physical reality is not a pretty picture by any means, yet in the end I found myself motivated and uplifted to a degree that I could not have foreseen when I sampled the preview. The production itself is excellent, but the content has left me still contemplating its depth and breadth 10 days after experiencing it. Mr Paine serves as a living, breathing (no small feat now) example of how to approach life as a gift on a daily basis while inspiring those around him - the stories from his family, friends and associates chronicled in this film leave no doubt of this. I love the use of home movies from his able-bodied days, especially when contrasted with images of his current existence; together these clearly illustrate how far Mr. Paine's body has degenerated. Yet simultaneously, in both his own words and the testimonies of his loved ones, his amazing spiritual journey along the same time line is conveyed with courage, conviction, humility and transparency. By the end of the film, I was convinced that Mr. Paine genuinely believes he is "the luckiest man." And while I would not trade with him, I cannot disagree with him.
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