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All Is Bright
BLU-RAY disk
11.20.2013 By: Mathew Plale
All Is Bright order download
Director:
Phil Morris

Actors:
Paul Giamatti
Paul Rudd
Sally Hawkins

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ex-con Dennis (Giamatti) takes a job selling Christmas trees with his former partner (Rudd), who happens to be planning to wed Dennis' wife.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Dennis is out on parole and wants to buy his daughter a piano. Heíll do it by taking a job selling Christmas trees with his friend, Rene, whoís saving up to land a new wife.

Things are a bit more complicated than that. Dennisí (Paul Giamatti) time in prison for robbery is a direct result of Rene (Paul Rudd) not showing up to the scene. And the woman Rene wants to wed? That would be Dennisí ex-wife, Therese (Amy Landecker, A Serious Man), who told her daughter daddy died of cancer more than a year ago. She didnít even bother to come up with what kind.

Prison hasnít exactly changed Dennis. Even under the eyes of Russian customer Olga (Sally Hawkins), he canít help but lift a few shiny items and articles of clothing. Still, we understand how much he cares for what he hopes is still his family.

All Is Bright, which played at festivals under Almost Christmas (which reeks of Hallmark Channel), is the first feature by Phil Morris in eight years. His debut, Junebug, was a strong one that had a superb script and introduced cinemagoers to Amy Adams. He showed such good taste, so itís quite a disappointment that his return to theaters stemmed from such a mediocre screenplay. Melissa James Gibsonís script has a handful of good lines and exchanges (Dennis: ďIf you want me to stop being a thief, Iíll stop being a thief.Ē Therese: ďWhat would be left of you?Ē), but they wouldnít get nearly as far without the spot-on delivery by the cast.

Giamatti and Rudd make a strong team (certainly better than it appears on paper) who carry All Is Bright when the plot canít. It makes us wonder, though, if you took away the star appeal, what would be left?

THE EXTRAS
UltraViolet
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Stars Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd, who have a surprisingly strong chemistry, do all of the work to keep All Is Bright an enjoyable dramedy. Unfortunately, the negatives of the screenplay greatly outweigh the abilities of the cast (which also includes Sally Hawkins and Amy Landecker). Those that liked All Is Bright will be disappointed that the Blu-ray lacks special features.
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