Who's in It:
Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny, John Carroll Lynch, Alison Lohman, Alexis Llewellyn, Micah Berry
The Basics: After her husband is murdered, grieving widow Berry invites her spouse's best friend (Del Toro) to live in the garage. That he's a heroin addict doesn't seem to worry her that much. In fact, he's more of a help than any sort of dramatic burden. Kind of like a junkie Mrs. Doubtfire.
What's the Deal? Movies about grief are like catnip for Academy Award-grasping Hollywood types. But those movies usually end up being less like Ingmar Bergman (standard equipment: despair, the relentless silence of God) and more like Ordinary People (standard equipment: upscale weeping, emotional epiphanies, hugs). So this time, they got Danish director Suzanne Bier (After the Wedding) to infuse a little bit of that patented Euro-coldness into it. It almost works.
What's Good About It: The stuff you think is going to happen (the hooking up that everyone seems to do in movies like this, no matter how unlikely the couple) pretty much doesn't, and the relative restraint on the usual movie-12-step-recovery histrionics is, like I said, very welcome. But everything's so nice and convenient for these people and there's so much goodwill going around (even when Halle tells Benicio that he should be the dead one) that if your nose is trained to smell even the slightest hint of fakey B.S., then you'll be wishing even more people would be murdered before the final credits roll. Me, I was feeling kind of forgiving.
Here's Why I Was Feeling Kind of Forgiving: Because Berry and Del Toro are really acting themselves into the kind of emotionally heavy states that the Academy loves, but they do it without making it feel like they they're doing tons of heavy lifting. For that sort of thing you'll need to see the laughably bad Reservation Road.
Best Product-Placement Moment: Coming down from a heroin binge, Del Toro grasps at some Oreos, gnawing desperately on the inside middle creamy part first. It's the edgy commercial Nabisco is kicking themselves for not thinking up first.