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Things We Lost in the Fire - drama DVD review
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny, Alexis Llewellyn, Micah Berry
Director: Susanne Bier   Studio: Dreamworks
DVD release: 04 March 2008   Runtime: 114 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround; French, Spanish), Deleted scenes, A discussion about Things We Lost In The Fire

Sometimes you are deeply affected by a movie, and sometimes it holds your interest but something just isn't quite right. That's not to say it's bad - simply a little overdone or off-kilter, or it simply doesn't move you the same way as it did someone else.

With a sript by Allan Loeb, and direction from Susanne Bier (BROTHERS, OPEN HEARTS), THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE stars Halle Berry as Audrey Burke, a recent widow coping with her loss. This is another one of those movies told in a non-linear fashion with the use of flashbacks.

In a nutshell, Audrey Burke has a picturesque life with her husband, Brian Burke (David Duchovny) - until it all comes crashing down when Brian is murdered as he tries to help a woman being beaten by her boyfriend. At Brian's funeral, we see disheveled man smoking a cigarette and looking extremely out of place among the affluent people attending. This man is Brian's best friend, Jerry Sunborne (Benicio Del Toro), a heroin addict and the reason Brian was out the night he died.

The key point in the movie happens very early: Audrey asks Jerry to live her and her two children, Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) and Dory (Micah Berry). The movie then drifts along, flashing back from past to present as Jerry tries to get his life together and Audrey continues to mourn the loss of her husband. Halle Berry gives a strong performance as the mourning widow, but it's Benicio Del Toro's believable portrayal of an addict struggling to kick the habit that really shines.

One stylistic choice by Bier becomes almost glaringly absurd by movie's end, and that is repeated close-ups of eyes. Everyone's eyes: Halle's sad, teary eyes; Toro's strained, bloodshot eyes; the precocious glint in the children's eyes. It's a tad overdone, to say the least. Other than the close-ups and a couple of pretentious scenes, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE is a solid drama that fans of Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro will enjoy.
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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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