A Long Way Down (2014) – Film Review

A Long Way Down movie posterA Long Way Down

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul

Directed by Pascal Chaumeil, based on the novel by Nick Hornby

IMDB Rating: 6.4

A Long Way Down starts by following Martin, a famous ex-British morning-show host who is publicly disgraced after having sex with a 25 year-old-looking 15 year-old. On New Years Day, he decides to kill himself, but while on the edge of a London skyscraper he is interrupted by Maureen (Collette), the mother of a disabled son with the same plan as Martin. Them two are then joined by JJ (Paul), an American struggling to get his head around the failures in his life, and the heartbroken and reckless daughter of a politician, Jess (Poots). They each stop the other from jumping, although they all still want to jump themselves. Jess forces the four of them to sign a pact, stating that none of them are allowed to jump until Valentines Day, six weeks away.

This isn’t necessarily a sweet film, and it isn’t really a dark film either. I can say, though, that while the story is quite good, the storyline itself isn’t necessarily that great. The idea of four people saving each other sounds cliché, but is still interesting to watch. What is less interesting is how the story develops, that all feels very unoriginal and predictable. However, films like this are dragged (…maybe pulled is a better word) along by the quality of their characters, and this film does have interesting characters – the younger two particularly interesting to me, but maybe that’s down to my age.

The acting in this film was very good, but the best of the lot had to be Imogen Poots as troublesome teen Jess. While her English accent made me wonder if she was an American taking the piss, her emotion and bitterness towards humanity, along with her lack of grasp for it, was really fun to watch. Pierce Brosnan was also very good in this film, showing his class as the leader of the self-proclaimed “worst team in history” with a performance that easily swapped between mature and eccentric. Aaron Paul was good, but not really that different to the performance I saw in Smashed as a stuck, constantly drunk young husband. Toni Collette is someone I know precious little about, and while her performance was also solid, it was considerably less eye-catching than the other three, mainly down to the character I think.

The directing in this film by Pascal Chaumeil is really good! The shots are interesting and engaging, and he definitely puts his own stamp on things, not necessarily being incredibly original but making his input noticeable to the audience. It’s not your usual, generic directing that you often see without even noticing, put it that way!

This is a weird film to try to sum up. It feels original, but at the same time I feel like its cliché. It’s not necessarily really dark, but it’s not really a feel-good film either. It’s in the middle of everything. At a crossroads. Average. However, while I wasn’t necessarily blown away by it, I did enjoy watching it. The acting, particularly by Imogen Poots, is really good, so if you are excited (in an acting sense!) by the promising British actress – or just need more Brosnan in your life – then this is worth a watch!

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