Viewed – 20 September 2016  Online-rental

I think it can mostly be said that actor Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the more assured talents around today and often the roles he chooses are worth checking out, more often than not for his often quirky, complex performance.


This is no exception as he plays Davis, a guy involved in a car crash that results in the untimely death of his wife.  Suddenly surrounded by grieving relatives and concerned friends however, Jake finds he doesn’t know how to grieve and finds the world around him unrelateable.  So Davis starts to exhibit rather strange behaviour, starting with writing letters of complaint to a vending machine company, that results in an unconventional friendship with the woman who works there (Naomi Watts).

This was a really interesting idea, brought to life by Gyllenhaal’s oddball but no less human performance which I’m sure is actually a rather accurate representation of how death can affect certain people.  He’s aided by an equally enjoyable Watts who herself is a little strange and searching for that ‘something’ that seems to evade both characters lives.  At times it reminded me in a not so surreal way of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (especially with the various memories, flashbacks etc. to Davis’ deceased wife).  Add to this a rather touching and unusual script that doesn’t dwell too heavily on the tragedy but rather peppers it with cleverly-observed humour to make this pretty entertaining considering the subject.  Support all round is also decent too especially from Chris Cooper as Davis’s straight-talking father-in-law.  I found this refreshingly different and certainly had more to it than I was expecting, with again Gyllenhaal proving why he’s one of my favourites.

Well worth your time.

Verdict:  4 /5

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