I really wanted to like this movie. I feel terribly cynical trashing it, and that's why I'm giving it a middling 5. Actually, I'm giving it a 5 because there were some superb performances.
This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.
A film with more than the usual spoiler issues. Talking about it in any detail feels akin to handing you a gift-wrapped present and saying, "I hope you like it -- It's a thriller about a diabolical secret experiment."
All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.
S7evin Kelevra (Tuktuktuktuk)
I Really Wanted to review this movie before but every time i tried i was Speechless my Thoughts were so loud,i couldn't hear my mouth like the song lyric goes....I loved this powerful story,powerful and touching performances by Benicio the King and whole cast from Halle till kids. Halle Berry shows all the drama happening around her Character truly. her face her act is exactly how it supposed to be,her voice her eyes she was Perfect! and So Was Benicio Del Toro! Oh Benicio Were you Addicted before?? i mean truly everyone who has or had any connections with drug addiction will say that Benicio truly acts like he is addicted! i mean in real life! i loved every Scene and Wholeevolution of movie from start till end, how Halle decided to drag Jerry(Benicio Del Toro) to her House was Brilliant(i mean when she found the lost money under the seat in car,when she thought that Jerry stole it). Also the Touching Scenes of Jerry When he is back to the Heroin and when Audrey(Halle Berry) starts rehab of Jerry at home. i Loved the end it isn't Banal at all.I wanted to say more but i cant express myself now really!so it is the best real life touching drama with great story and powerful performances. Applauds!
Susanne Bier's 2007 movie, Things We Lost in the Fire sees Halle Berry as Audrey Burke, a recently widowed woman, who enters into an unexpected relationship with a figure from her late spouse's life. If that sounds at all familiar, it's because there are definite parallels to Berry's 2001 Oscar winning turn in Monster's Ball.With a looming awards season around the corner, it's possible that the studio considered this to be another contender to show off Ms Berry's acting prowess. Following rolls in the likes of Die Another Day, Gothika and her Razzie winning performance in Catwoman, it had perhaps escaped the film watching populous' attention that under some bad career choices, there lies a very capable actor. Bier's film falls short of Oscar bait, but it doesn't have the feel of a film that's desperately trying to be worthy. There's a subtly genuine tone to the performances in the film. What could easily be over sentimentalised, Lifetime drama is a well-handled and compelling tale of love, loss, grief and recovery.Benicio Del Toro performance as Jerry Sunborne, the deadbeat heroin addict whom everyone gave up on, except Burke's late husband, is well nuanced. The depiction of drug addiction is neither overly graphic nor monstrous, or apologist. It's commendable that Bier has taken a subject and showed a more accurate depiction. Those recovering from addiction can be intelligent, educated and liked people. They can be the person next door, or the person who walked past you who in the street and appear to be very average. This criminality of the drug use is most certainly the focus.The building relationship between Sunbourne and his late friend's family is also well restrained. While the temptation might be to create an awkward love interest, the focus is more of the bonds that can be created through shared grief. Despite its themes, the film maintains an optimistic that only occasionally drifts into soppy sentiment.It's far from a perfect affair. The performances from the children will take you out of the drama. They're often clumsy and there's a delivery in many of the lines, which seems far too rehearsed. Do children ever really speak like that? Bier's non-linear story telling is also inconsistent, seemingly dropped half way through the film. The relationship between Sunborne and Brian Burke (adequately performed by David Duchovny) doesn't quite seem believable either, but that's partly because he's too thin a character. The film starts to loose coherence when it comes to the larger story. However, the two central performances and character dynamics are strong enough to win this around.
When loving husband Brian Burke (David Duchovny) gets unpurposefully murdered, when interfering with a couple's fight, his wife and mother of two Audrey (Halle Berry) is left to cope all by herself. Brian does leave a sizable amount of money, which guarantees her legroom, but the tragic death remains unbearable. Brian's best friend Jerry Sunborne (Benicio Del Toro) is a recurring drug addict, kept away from the family, but he nonetheless visited and helped out despite the spiralling downfall. The funeral of his friend serves as a way of connecting Audrey with Jerry, who ultimately takes in on herself to save him from the untimely narcotic fate.In my mind Susanne Bier remains one of the most massively overrated modern-day directors. Essentially an executor of high-end dramatic drivel her most major flaw comes from attempts of integrated foreign elements into her story (the good doctor in Africa in "Haevnen" or an Afghanistan POW back-story in "Brodre") with such infantilism and well-intentioned but borderline misguided racism, that blow-back is inevitable. Nonetheless Sussane Bier is extremely effective and in-depth at uncovering frailties of family life, however any ventures outside her safety zone of first world reality are true calamities in her work.Her fortunately the material stays close to home, giving a strong dramatic back-drop of the disruptive relationship of harrowing widow and recovering drug-addict. Nonetheless "Things We Lost in the Fire" feels at times like a compassionate top shelf family drama, occasionally glossy and with hints of soap opera, where the overall impact is increased by the powerful performance of Benicio del Toro. Every inch of his body aches and reacts, giving a truly masterful role, which is a real must. Whereas the story itself is intriguing, but somewhat unmemorable, images of del Toro and the pain, longing or remorse reverberating throughout his whole body is something that truly needs to be admired.
Benicio del Toro's facial gestures are captivating from beginning to end. He wedges in occasional humor to a tragic situation. A harrowing depiction of a once successful attorney turned heroin addict masterfully performed by del Toro. His presence and personae command the screen. It's inspiring to see the main character maintain a sense of dignity about him even during the nadir of his life. No facades about what he does to survive, or the occasional deplorable state of his body. Refreshing cynicism. He derives a sense of self-worth from his brains. The alternating affluent and adverse living conditions don't compromise his authenticity. One roots for him to rise from the ashes. In real life it would be highly unlikely for someone in his situation to have one, let alone four wealthy people (a couple of them strangers) trying to help him get a second wind. Creative dialog. Excellent supporting actors, including charming children. It needed a less sad title to attract a larger audience. Benicio should have been nominated for awards for this one.