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A Long Way Down

Adaptation of Nick Horny's bestselling novel. Four people meet accidentally at the top of "Topper House", London's most famous suicide spot, at new year's eve. They decide to stay together and alive for at least a month.

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On New Year’s Eve four suicide candidates meet on top of a London high-rise popular for taking one’s own life. The sleazy TV host Martin (Pierce Brosnan), a depressive housewife Maureen (Toni Collette), a borderline teen Jess (Imogen Poots) and a wannabe rock star JJ (Aaron Paul) – they want to end it all – but that is about the only thing they have in common. On the roof not one of them is willing to jump to his or her death in front of the others, and since they don’t really know how to move on, they make a pact: they collectively decide that for three months they will not try again, and once the time is up they’ll reassess the situation. In the meanwhile the four must survive the media onslaught so they take a cheap holiday to the Canary Islands. Patrick Chaumeil (HEARTBREAKER, DER NÄCHSTE, BITTE!) delivers a lightweight adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel by the same name. In particular Pierce Brosnan, ever more mischievous with age, seems to enjoy his role as a vain ex-TV host who disgraced himself by having an affair with a 15-year old (“she said she was 16”). Imogen Poots is mouthy and unpredictable, Aaron Paul pensive and introverted, and Toni Colette provides a counterbalance as the cumbersome and melancholic Maureen. In Hornby’s novel the light, comic elements are always accompanied by a distinctive level of melancholy in the way he captures the weariness that drives each of the four characters. Chaumeil, on the other hand, has decided to go for pure comedy. And in Hornby’s narrative a small step forward – from wanting to die to not wanting to die – is turned into a happy ending in the film version.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Carla McDougall

Credits

Großbritannien 2014, 96 min
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Author: Nick Hornby, Jack Thorne
DOP: Ben Davis
Montage: Chris Gill, Barney Pilling
Music: Dario Marianelli
Distributor: DCM Filmverleih
Cast: Toni Colette, Sam Neil, Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots
FSK: 6
Release: 03.04.2014

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