Posts Tagged ‘redemption’

Zach Braff is Andrew Largeman, a tv actor who has lived in LA and had little to do with his family for nine years.  However, when his father calls to tell him that his mother has died unexpectedly, Andrew has to go back to New Jersey for the funeral. While there, he catches up with old friends, and more importantly meets a girl named Sam (Natalie Portman) who is quirky, cute and more alive and vital than Andrew can ever imagine he or his friends being.

While he is in New Jersey, trying to avoid spending time with his father (who is also his psychiatrist) and attempting to work out where he is headed in life, Andrew confronts some painful memories of his past, and is reminded that only by letting go of who we once were can we decide who we truly want to be.  Meanwhile, Sam shows him that despite the obstacles people face, they can still live in the here and now, and have fun.

Ultimately, this is a film about redemption and love.  Zach Braff is impressive and manages to shake off his JD character from ‘Scrubs’ very well.  (He also wrote and directed the movie.)  Natalie Portman is cute as a button, and Peter Sarsgaard is excellent as Andrew’s friend, the gravedigger Mark.

There were a lot less laughs than I thought there would be – this is not a comedy, although there are moments of gentle humour.  But it’s a sweet film, with lots of touching moments and two main characters who you can’t help rooting for.

Year of release: 2004

Director: Zach Braff

Writer: Zach Braff

Main cast: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

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I have just watched this wonderful movie about guilt and redemption.  It stars Jeff Bridges, who is my favourite actor of all time, and Robin Williams.

Jeff plays Jack Lucas, an abrasive and arrogant DJ, who is inadvertently the catalyst for a horrific crime.  Crippled by his guilt, Jack has a chance encounter with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless and apparently insane man, and the two men become friends after a fashion.

Jack is seeking some kind of redemption, to ease the burden on his conscience, and maybe, just maybe, Parry and he are able to help each other.  But the thing that connects them also threatens to tear them apart…

Will Jack become a better person?  And will Perry ever find peace and lasting love?  This is a very moving film, which explores how people cope in the face of adversity, and how people are affected by tragedy.  It’s also an exploration of friendship – just how much can a friendship survive through?

The film is romantic and fantastic, with some off beat humour, and very touching moments.  As always, Jeff Bridges is terrific.  Robin Williams makes his part totally his own.  This film is a joy to watch.  Look out for the waltz scene set in Grand Central Station – it’s probably my very favourite movie scene ever – beautifully done.

Year of release: 1991

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Richard LaGravenese

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl

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