A Challenge for the Audience
I could spend a lot of time about the techniques of this film, how we break the fourth wall, and twist reality in the perspective of the protagonist. And then the fluid camerawork, excellent editing, and the perfect capture of a mood from all sides.
Or I could spend a lot of time on the script and how a life can be expressed through the slow process of dying, and what meaning is there as one looks back. It's not a subject that carries a plot well, but there is a structure that works, and not just because it was dredged up to hold together an idea - this work is a loving and painstakingly detailed account.
What I really want to talk about is Emma Thompson. She's had a lot of acting work in her life, a lot of it very good, but this here is what I'd have to call the role of a lifetime. She lays her soul bare on this one, and sacrifices every single indignity that her protagonist has to suffer on screen. I can admire performances, but I'm at a loss at the moment for any other performance that moved me as this, purely on its own merits.
The topic of death isn't for everyone, I realize that, but sit through it anyway. This is an HBO production, and while it's been shown in a theater before, you'll probably have to tune in to cable to see it. I've been more a fan of their series work than their movies, but this one balances it out, and is a testament for the challenging material they've been willing to take on.
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