Thursday, 24 February 2011

Everyone's afraid to die alone.

The Bucket List (2007)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say about it: 'Another test for your stone cold heart. Brilliant performances from Freeman and Nicholson. It never fails to make me laugh as their unlikely friendship develops. Yet it is still quite a somber story about life's lessons.'

Whilst in the hospital this is a reasonably amusing and touching tale of friendship with a terrific performance from Jack Nicholson. If the bucket list in the movie itself had remained an academic exercise and the film focused on a relationship forged not through silly obvious stunts (skydiving, yawn) but connecting over hardship this may have been a reliable tear jerker. But it gets distracted by spectacle (and Reiner has never been the most visually interesting director) and loses all sympathy from me by playing a rather mean trick.
This isn't the sort of film that needs to have a 'twist' to have an emotional resonance, they are dying, isn't that enough? Apparently not. In order to tug at the heart strings it feels the need to mislead you into thinking Nicholson dies first and tries to blindside you with Freeman's death.
This is, in the parlance of today, a dick move.

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