- Running time:
- 129 minutes
- Matt Damon -
- George Lonegan
- Cécile de France -
- Marie Lelay
- Jay Mohr -
- Bryce Dallas Howard -
- Frankie McLaren -
Three separate stories dealing with death and the afterlife are fated to intersect: George (Matt Damon) works a blue collar job in San Francisco and refuses to exploit a paranormal ability to hear the dead, even though his brother (Jay Mohr) believes he should; Marie (Cécile de France) is a successful TV journalist in Paris whose life is turned upside down after she survives the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia; and Jason and Marcus (George and Frankie McLaren) are young twins who rely on each other to survive in London with their drug addict mom (Lyndsey Marshal).
The buzz: 80-year-old Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood has emerged as one of the most prolific and unpredictable filmmakers working today. Now he tackles a script by Oscar nominee Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) that includes supernatural themes, extensive French-language dialogue and two real-life disasters. Nope, Eastwood still isn’t interested in playing it safe.
The verdict: Easily one of the most unusual films in Eastwood’s career, and one of the most unique films to come out of Hollywood all year, “Hereafter” is a meditation on mortality for an age of anxiety. It’s alternately philosophical, tragic and romantic, carefully weaving the tsunami and the 2005 London subway bombings into a narrative preoccupied with death and all the emotions it inspires—fear, guilt, sadness, frustration, curiosity. Despite the heavy subject matter, Eastwood and Morgan thoughtfully balance three stories that lesser filmmakers may have rendered one-note or overbearing. Instead, their work is quiet and deliberate without becoming bleak or despairing, brightened by strong performances from Damon, de France and Bryce Dallas Howard as a woman who enters George’s life. When Marie wants to push forward with a book about death, she’s told “this kind of material is for a specialized market.” She responds, “Did you at least find it interesting?” “Hereafter” is proof that Eastwood continues to take chances, and they’re definitely interesting.
Did you know? “The Social Network” may be impressing viewers with the visual effects wizardry used to allow one actor to play twins, but Eastwood still does things the old fashioned way. He had the McLaren twins interchangeably play their characters, depending on who was best suited to the scene being shot.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Hereafter in Cincinnati.
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