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Things We Lost In The Fire
DVD disk
03.13.2008 By: Jason Adams
Things We Lost In The Fire order
Director:
Susanne Bier

Actors:
Halle Berry
Benicio Del Toro
David Duchovony

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After her husband dies, a woman finds solace in helping his recovering drug addict friend get back on his feet.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I was all ready to tell you to get the Kleenex handy, but then I realized that THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE isn’t really a tearjerker. Sure, there’s plenty of sad parts to the movie, but considering it’s two hours filled with death, crying and drug addiction, it wasn’t as depressing as you’d expect. Oddly enough, it was almost cathartic.

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.
THE EXTRAS
A Discussion About THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE (20:25): Bier, along with the cast, shares her approach to filmmaking and the themes the movie attempts to cover.

Deleted Scenes (9:25): A few extra character moments, a couple of which I think would’ve worked in the film.

Trailer and Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE came and went to theaters without much notice, but if you’re looking for a decent drama about loss and recovery, give it a try on DVD.

Extra Tidbit: The indie band Low released an album in 2001 called “Things We Lost In The Fire.” Coincidence? Probably.
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