Benicio Del Toro
Susanne Bier directed the tonally similar AFTER THE WEDDING (reviewed by me here). Like that movie, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE is built up of smaller moments—little character quirks, extreme close ups and honest emotions. The story is also told out of order for the first half, a structural choice that has become gimmicky recently. In this case though, I felt it helped the story unfold more effectively…things like seeing David Duchovony’s chemistry with his wife and kids after you know his ultimate fate. Piecing everything together also helped develop the characters more fully, with their behavior and reactions feeling very real and organic, almost to the point of being emotionally manipulative.
Benicio Del Toro gives a great performance, especially in his drug recovery scenes. Had this movie gotten a little more clout, he might’ve received a nomination or two. The man never ceases to impress; a small facial expression from him can say a lot. Halle Berry also does some actual acting, which is a welcome change. And Allison Lohman is seven kinds of cute, but her character seemed more like an afterthought.
All in all, THINGS WE LOST is a solid drama, if not a little slow and weepy. But if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, it’ll suffice.
Deleted Scenes (9:25): A few extra character moments, a couple of which I think would’ve worked in the film.
Trailer and Previews.
Extra Tidbit: The indie band Low released an album in 2001 called “Things We Lost In The Fire.” Coincidence? Probably.