Who's In It: Matt Damon, Cecile De France, Frankie McLaren, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, George McLaren
The Basics: Matt Damon is a burned-out psychic who speaks to the dead. And he's fed up with both their chatter and his own gift. (It's not a gift! It's a curse!" he says no less than three times during the film, just so you remember how exhausted he is.) Cecile De France is a French TV news anchor who dies for a moment in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and sees the afterlife. Soon afterward she becomes obsessed with telling the world about her experience. Meanwhile, a young London boy's twin brother is killed and he and sets off to find someone who can reach him. Even if you're not psychic you can probably guess that somehow they all wind up connecting and finding a sort of peace with their situations.
What's The Deal: In Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood directed himself in a story about a violent death sacrifice, so the logical next step is to explore the nature of what would happen to Clint Eastwood if he were to suddenly up and die like people often do. And that's where it becomes more difficult. Because he's great at studying the nature of violence and retribution and masculinity and honor. Those are all things you can actually look at it and see in action. But the minute you start talking about trippy afterlife stuff it all starts to sound like the beginning of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and you might as well be wearing a purple glitter pantsuit while you do it because that's about how seriously people are going to take you. Earnestly heartfelt all the way, this movie goes bonkers right out of the gate and doesn't let up until the final shot of Damon having a vision of his own future, so don't worry if you find yourself giggling.
A Short But Spoiler-Intensive List Of Wacky Stuff You'll See In This Movie: Careless, ghoulish Remember Me-style exploitation of recent real life horrific events such as the big 2004 tsunami and the 2005 London train bombings, creepy moments between Damon and the kid, spiritually significant exchanges between De France and an underwater teddy bear, and the idea that the afterlife must be real because it was finally experienced first-hand by a French secularist. (Her office is right next door to the Eiffel Tower to cue audience members not so good at placing accents.) And that's not even counting the presence of...
Bryce Dallas Howard's Many Moments Of Utter Confusion: She enters and exits the movie just long enough to have her own strange scenes with Damon (he touches her with a spoon and gets one of his jolting, time-to-talk-to-dead-folks connection-wave things) that include a cooking class where all they do is chop tomatoes week after week while listening to opera until, finally, they graduate to the class of Sexy Tasting Stuff With Blindfolds On. During these interludes she gets to say things like, "I'm here in this cooking class to meet new people and maybe meet the man of my dreams."
What To Watch Instead: Ghostbusters