terça-feira, novembro 29, 2011

50/50 (2011)

Such a great movie!

Don't even know how or where to start, however, I will try to begin this post by approaching it's genre...

50/50 (2011), directed by Jonathan Levine and based on it's own script writer’s life experience (Will Reiser) is a movie that presents itself as having the best of two worlds, due to the ability of fitting well in a sub-genre known as "dramedy"- which, as you can probably tell by it's name, its a mix between both drama and comedy!

It approaches a very sensitive subject in a humorous way with plenty of funny dialogues or hilarious moments, something that easily covers the intense nature of the leading character's problem: His cancer illness!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Adam Lerner, a 27 year old man who finds out that he has cancer. While receiving the news from his doctor, he becomes first shocked and then numb. His first reaction is with great surprise because, as he says, he "doesn't smoke, doesn't drink" and even "recycles".

This is, in my opinion, a key dialogue on making people aware that such situations don't only occur to others or at the very least, to people who enjoy a more alternative or unhealthy lifestyle. It doesn't pick age, race or creed... It's something that could happen to anyone, at any time!

As the movie's narrative progresses, we see Adam and the people around him make big adjustments in their lives, most of these with the purpose of making it easier to deal with Adam's illness, something that himself from the outside, seems to take lightly or with no seeming care, but from within, you can tell he's almost out-bursting with a lot of different emotions.

In some ways, even though it's hard for someone to imagine what it feels like, it's hard not to try and put yourself in Adam's shoes. You always get the sense that if it was you, you would experience that situation almost in the same way. First through a stage of denial, coming eventually to a phase in which you succumb to what's really happening, driving you to react abruptly... While the lead actor struggles to deal with his condition and at the same time with the consequences that derivate from that (his break-up and his Mom reaction), the audience tries to find comfort in the laughter provoking scenes!

It's hard to tell which genre comes out stronger... if comedy or drama...

Seth Rogen takes care of most of the funny bits with his rude, but honest portrayal of Adam's best friend, while most of the moving moments come by the hand of Gordon-Levitt, but also Anjelica Huston. She gives a very good performance as Adam's mother, who by nature is very protective and seemingly always worried. I think you get on her side from the beginning as you realize she also takes care of her husband who has alzheimer's disease. She looks out for him without any kind of help, something that she doesn't ask for, but instead prefers her son to give her some attention, as any mother would like to hear and be heard by her son!

Afraid that she would freak out and get "all Mom" with him, he only tells her about his condition a few days later and avoids keeping in touch with her. Much to his own selfishness, he makes it hard on the one person who didn't deserve that sort of treatment... realizing after, that in certain times, other people have been victims as well and obviously coming to the conclusion that cancer hasn't only brought grief and troubles to him, but also to those who love him!

For many this might not be the core relationship of the movie... Obviously Rogen and Gordon-Levitt partnership assume most of the movies expenses, but I have to say the Mother/Son scenes were definitely the ones who brought me closer to myself, as I related Anjelica Huston's character to my own Mother, for the love she feels towards me, for the times that I might have neglected her needs of attention and for her everyday struggles that inspire me on becoming a better man. In all fairness, it comes as obvious to me that its the same between Adam and his Mother.

Won't get more personal than this, but felt like I had to justify why those particular scenes standout in a feature made of many more excellent moments.

Also worth mentioning:
- Rachel, the girlfriend, soon to turn Ex (this isn't qualified as a spoiler since it's obvious by the trailer) played by Bryce Dallas Howard, a very talented actress, that I consider to be underrated!

- The young and inexperienced therapist Katie McKay, portrayed by Anna Kendrick. She takes part in some pure sweet moments and, sometimes, awkward - but funny - situations.

- Philip Baker Hall, a veteran actor with loads of great movies under his belt, who portrays Alan, an old man with cancer that Adam meets at the hospital during his chemotherapy sessions. Baker Hall adds up to the comedy formula, being almost an elderly version of Seth Rogen's Kyle.

- The soundtrack! Not a perfect one according to my personal taste, but I got to say... the tracks smoothly suited every scene to which they were demanded to step in and work it out! Loved especially the song for the opening and ending scene!
Overall, the movie is bound to be an Oscar candidate this year! An outstanding script, top notch performances and good directing say so... and so does the audience and critics worldwide!

Be sure to watch it on the cinema!

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