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Hereafter (2010)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Genres:
Drama, Psychological Drama, Supernatural Drama
Director:
Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood
Starring:
CÚcile de France CÚcile de France
Thierry Neuvic Thierry Neuvic
Cyndi Mayo Cyndi Mayo
Lisa Griffiths Lisa Griffiths
Jessica Griffiths Jessica Griffiths
User Lists:
> Best Films of 2010

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: October 27, 2010
There is nothing complicated about Clint Eastwood's new film "Hereafter"; well, other than the subject matter. You would think a film about what happens when we die would be filled with intrigue, mystery and plenty of answers that some would find divisive? Not "Hereafter". Clint Eastwood is too smart for that. The older he gets, the more and more deft he becomes at film-making. He has sank effortlessly into his role as one of the great directors of our time and seems free as a bird to do what he pleases. "Hereafter" is the perfect example. Here is a film that no major studio would normally ever touch. Yet here we are with names like Peter Morgan, Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg attached. Eastwood gets what he wants and I wouldn't want it any other way.

What the film concentrates on is not the question -- "What happens when we die?" Instead, the film follows and observes three individuals who have all dealt with death in different ways. George Lonegan (Matt Davis) is a former psychic who has the rare ability to touch someone, make an instant connection and report messages from deceased loved one. Lonegan is not a fake and really does possess this ability and that fact is never called into question. It is obvious to everyone that it is real. George has given up his gift and now works the job of a laborer at a local plant, trying to find some assembly of normalcy. One night, during a cooking class he meets Melanie (Bryce Dallas Howard), a young girl who seems to like him as much as he likes her. Eventually, George takes her back to his place and is placed in an awkward position when she asks him to do a reading. He knows what the end result will be and we must watch, painfully, as it heads in that unfortunate direction.

Across the sea, Marie Lelay (Cecile De France) is a famous French reporter and investigative journalist who has a near death experience during a tragic tsunami while on vacation. That experience changes her life and causes her to start questioning the 'hereafter' and the notions therein. Her quest begins to consume her life as she attempts to write a book on the subject and her unique experience. Next door in the United Kingdom we follow Marcus (Frankie McLaren) and Jason (George McLaren), twin brothers living with their drug addicted mother and relying on one another for everything. When Jason is killed in a terrible accident, Marcus is left all alone and must deal with life without his other half. He starts visiting psychics and readers, searching for answers, but always seems to come up empty handed. All of this while his mother is receiving rehabilitation for her addiction.

So you have George who is able to communicate with the deceased; Marie who has experienced death first hand; and Marcus who is dealing with the grief over a deceased loved one -- three very different relationships with death that all wind and weave together to a very satisfying conclusion. But it's not a conclusion that will leave everyone satisfied. I am sure there are people who want some huge revelation but I thought the ending fit the tone of the film just perfectly and was pure beauty. It's simple and subtle and shows us how these lives affect one another. "Hereafter" doesn't offer any answers and it doesn't need to. It's not about answers. It's about people searching for something, whatever that may be.

Punctuating this terrific tale by the great Peter Morgan is yet another memorable and touching score by Clint Eastwood which rolls right along with the picture. It's another simple element that works in a big way. I don't expect "Hereafter" to tear up the box office, which is a shame. It's another sterling example of why Clint Eastwood is one of the greatest directors of all-time and his ability to continue churning out amazing pieces of work so late in his life and career. "Hereafter" is so unusual and so fulfilling and really connected with me on a very deep level. It's one of the best films of the year. 9/10.
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