Title – A Long Way Down (2014)
Director – Pascal Chaumeil (Fly Me to the Moon)
Cast – Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Sam Neill, Rosamund Pike
Plot – A top of a cold winter swept rooftop one New Year’s Eve in London, a group of desperate people find themselves ready to end their lives’ only to be saved by each other. A pact is made and a media frenzy occurs once word gets out of what had happened on that fateful night.
“I don’t mind the pain. It’s the hope that kills me”
Review by Eddie on 28/05/2015
Based on popular author Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, Pascal Chaumeil’s adaptation of A Long Way Down is a tonally awkward film that you can’t help but feel had more to give had it been more efficiently made, but thanks to a talented acting ensemble, the film overcomes many of its narrative troubles to be an enjoyable and even sometimes touching tale of life and friendship.
Setting a film around botched suicide attempts seems like a sure-fire trip into Depressionville but this is absolutely a comedic look at a subject that arguably needed a little more realism attached to it. We have a disgraced TV personality Martin (Brosnan), hardworking mother Maureen (Collette), loud and obnoxious young lady Jess (Poots) and forlorn pizza delivery guy J.J (Paul) who create a rag-tag bunch of people that in real life would not put up with each other for more than a few minutes but here take holidays together and it sets up many awkward moments and musings on life and all its troubles. It’s often a very strange scenario and one about as far away from realism as your likely to get but the actors here do some fine work despite Imogen Poot’s grating performance and Dario Marianelli’s overbearing score.
It’s always nice to see Pierce Brosnan given something to do and he aces his role as Martin. Martin is a believable character and along with Toni Collette’s Maureen he makes for the film’s most relatable figures. This is what A Long Way Down needed a little more of to really make it fly, some relatability and persons that feel cut from the real world. Aaron Paul does some nice work also as J.J, a man who’s not quite sure why he feels the way he does and that too is something I’m sure people can associate with. It’s nice to see Paul succeed here as he has an undeniable presence on screen when given the right material. The films largest annoyance (other than the wasting of Sam Neill and Rosamund Pike in short support turns) is by far Imogen Poots. Her Jess is a tacky and insipid creation that will bring the films mood down consistently in an overplayed and over extenuated role, all loud noises and arrogant remarks, it truly is an annoying thing to witness.
A Long Way Down has some nice things to say about life, love and friendship and while it’s all told in a very Hollywood light way, the message is still an important one. While not everything here rings true and some situations would’ve been better suited on the cutting room floor, there is enough here to suggest many will find enjoyment and maybe even some life affirming notions amongst all the goings on.
3 step ladders out of 5