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Review: Third Person

Third Person
06.17.2014
1 10
THIRD PERSON was originally reviewed as part of JoBlo.com's TIFF 2013 coverage.

PLOT: Three couples (Liam Neeson & Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis & James Franco, Adrien Brody & Moran Atias) in three different cities (Paris, New York and Rome) deal with the various intrigues of falling in and out of love.

REVIEW: It happens every year. While the Toronto Film Festival is renowned for its incredible selection of stunning films – with this year being no exception – every year a film sneaks in that's so bad you wonder how it ever made the cut. Movies like PASSION PLAY, TWIXT, BUTTER, TRESPASS and now THIRD PERSON.

Granted, Paul Haggis is a controversial figure. While I'm inclined to agree with the people that thought his best picture win for CRASH was an unbelievably poor choice by the academy, it was not a film that I hated. The same cannot be said for his follow-up, IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH which tried so hard to be thought-provoking, that it shot itself in the foot in its final act. But at least that film was two-thirds of a decent movie. This one never, ever threatens to be anything other than a complete and utter piece of crap.

For one thing, none of the three stories Paul Haggis tells are remotely interesting. The one that comes the closest is the one with Mila Kunis, who plays a mother that's lost custody of her son to James Franco after she endangered his life. Despite being a wildly unsympathetic, even dangerous character, we're supposed to be moved by her plight, even though it's suggested that she tried to suffocate the kid at some point. And this is the best part of the film...

The lamest part sees Adrien Brody as guy in Rome who makes a living ripping off Italian designs for his cut-rate company. He falls for a Romanian beauty (Maran Atias) who's (maybe) trying to get her daughter back from a dangerous criminal. This story seems to be trying for a mix of suspense and romance with us never being sure whether or not Atias is playing Brody, but you'll never for one second care whether she is or not. Part of the trouble is Brody, who, in the wrong kind of role is grating. This is the wrong kind of role. The other problem is that just like all the other stories, the characters are cardboard, and the plot is stale.

But the worst part of THIRD PERSON, the part that takes this movie from being merely bad into positively atrocious is the Neeson-Wilde segment. First of all, the prospect of watching sixty-one-year-old Liam Neeson in a romance with twenty-eight-year-old Olivia Wilde is not terribly appealing. Actually, it's pretty gross, especially with the two of them having several love scenes that are supposed to be torrid but seem icky. Here, Haggis throws two twists into the story that are just stunning. The first one is absolutely disgusting, and rather than induce gasps in the audience should induce vomiting, while the second feels like something leftover from THE WORDS (coincidentally another Wilde vehicle).

Without telling you the two twists, I can't possibly convey how truly awful THIRD PERSON is, but suffice to say, the only way this could be enjoyed is as an unintentional comedy, were it not so boring. Someone at the fest said that Haggis was heading into M. Night Shyamalan territory with his recent run of movies, but THIRD PERSON is so bad that seems like a disservice to Shyamalan.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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5:54AM on 06/17/2014
Wow, just 1? Let's just give it zero and call it a day then.
Wow, just 1? Let's just give it zero and call it a day then.
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4:15PM on 09/12/2013

It's Impossible to Take A Critic Seriously.......

When he's a grown ass man and uses the word "icky." I mean, Jesus Christ man. Did you watch the film dressed as Peter Pan?
When he's a grown ass man and uses the word "icky." I mean, Jesus Christ man. Did you watch the film dressed as Peter Pan?
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1:47AM on 06/17/2014
Would you like some cheese.
Would you like some cheese.
3:57PM on 09/12/2013

someone just want to post what the spoilers are?

i'm never going to see this but i am curious at what was so revolting about the neeson/wilde part.
i'm never going to see this but i am curious at what was so revolting about the neeson/wilde part.
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1:29PM on 09/12/2013

Haggis...

Really don't like that mans movies. Crash is one of the absolute worst movies to win Best Picture. Expected this to stink.
Really don't like that mans movies. Crash is one of the absolute worst movies to win Best Picture. Expected this to stink.
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-4
11:18AM on 09/12/2013

Crash not worthy of Best Picture? Tell that to Roger Ebert. Look at Haggis's credits, he's no Shyamalan

Even Roger Ebert called Crash the best film of 2005. No other film that year, had a greater and deeper impact than Crash did.
Crash was easily the best film out of the five nominated films for Best Picture back in 2006. it's still a film that's talked about and debated in gender and race communications. The only runner up for me was Steven Spielberg's Munich, which it seems that people have sadly forgotten all about.
Other than that you had Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and
Even Roger Ebert called Crash the best film of 2005. No other film that year, had a greater and deeper impact than Crash did.
Crash was easily the best film out of the five nominated films for Best Picture back in 2006. it's still a film that's talked about and debated in gender and race communications. The only runner up for me was Steven Spielberg's Munich, which it seems that people have sadly forgotten all about.
Other than that you had Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and Capote.
That sucks to hear Paul Haggis's new film is awful, but I would not write the guy out. The man directed Crash and In The Valley of Elah, and was screenwriter to Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, and Casino Royale! I did not care for The Next Three Days, but my ass he is at Shyamalan level. Shyamalan level is when the directed has completely given up on telling a story altogether.
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10:22AM on 09/12/2013

Really?

I just had to say as always I very much respect your reviewing abilities... but that opening diss at Haggis for CRASH. You can't seriously doubt that choice... that was one of the most emotionally intense films of the last decade let alone with the other entries that year - Good night and Good luck (ok that was a great film but still, no where near the heartstring rape that was CRASH) Syrianna, Match Point, and the Squid and the whale...? I mean really. Crash walks through that park from a
I just had to say as always I very much respect your reviewing abilities... but that opening diss at Haggis for CRASH. You can't seriously doubt that choice... that was one of the most emotionally intense films of the last decade let alone with the other entries that year - Good night and Good luck (ok that was a great film but still, no where near the heartstring rape that was CRASH) Syrianna, Match Point, and the Squid and the whale...? I mean really. Crash walks through that park from a written stand point. That is all. Side note... I am sad any film with olivia wilde sucks :(
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4:34PM on 09/12/2013
Crash doesn't even belong in the same sentence as The Squid and the Whale
Crash doesn't even belong in the same sentence as The Squid and the Whale
1:52AM on 06/17/2014
Crash was Oscar bait because it involved race and didn't do a good job at it.
Crash was Oscar bait because it involved race and didn't do a good job at it.
10:10AM on 09/12/2013
Let me guess, the twist is that Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde are father and daughter? Either way, it sounds like train wreck that I want to watch!
Let me guess, the twist is that Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde are father and daughter? Either way, it sounds like train wreck that I want to watch!
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9:48AM on 09/12/2013

BUTTER was a bad movie?

That's news to me. I thought that movie was hilarious.
That's news to me. I thought that movie was hilarious.
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8:20AM on 09/12/2013
I don't know, this review actually makes me want to see this flick now.
I don't know, this review actually makes me want to see this flick now.
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8:00AM on 09/12/2013
1/10? Is it THAT bad?
1/10? Is it THAT bad?
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7:29AM on 09/12/2013
Exactly what I'd expect. All of the actors, Neeson included, are hit-or-miss with me. Granted, Neeson has done some really good work. I just find most of his newer flicks to be "eh." A-Team & Clash of the Titans we're let downs, though I like the A-Team director's cut better, & while I really likes Taken, I thought Taken 2 was a bit unnecessary. Isn't there supposes to be a part 3? Don't even get me started on Haggis. I liked Crash & the man has let me down pretty much ever since. Him & M.
Exactly what I'd expect. All of the actors, Neeson included, are hit-or-miss with me. Granted, Neeson has done some really good work. I just find most of his newer flicks to be "eh." A-Team & Clash of the Titans we're let downs, though I like the A-Team director's cut better, & while I really likes Taken, I thought Taken 2 was a bit unnecessary. Isn't there supposes to be a part 3? Don't even get me started on Haggis. I liked Crash & the man has let me down pretty much ever since. Him & M. Night must be neighbors.
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4:55AM on 09/12/2013
A one out of ten for something with Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in it? Egads. I think those two would be far more suited to playing father and daughter than a romantic couple.
A one out of ten for something with Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in it? Egads. I think those two would be far more suited to playing father and daughter than a romantic couple.
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2:52AM on 09/12/2013
Yikes! You wouldn't think a film with that cast would suck!
Yikes! You wouldn't think a film with that cast would suck!
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2:48AM on 09/12/2013
Jesus. Tore this movie a new one Bumbray!
Jesus. Tore this movie a new one Bumbray!
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