Wow. I would not have been able to handle this film a year or two ago. Wow.
Can I just say, John Cusack is the MAN. I've seen him do romantic comedy. I've seen him do madcap. I've seen him do film noir and historicals and action and even thriller/horror. But I've really never seen him do a small, personal, heavy drama. And man, does he ever pull it off. There is nothing he can't do!
It's an incredibly simple premise: an ex-Army father of two girls (8 and 12) receives the news that his wife has been killed serving in Iraq. And that's where the film starts. I won't say any more of the plot, only to say that the film is an amazing portrait of grief, denial, and family dynamics. The one thing that got to me was the father's character quirk of constantly calling the home answering machine, just to hear the wife's voice.
I used to do that. Sam's voice was on our cell phone's outgoing greeting for a couple months, until I "accidentally" erased it and forced myself to step up and record my own.
And, interestingly enough, as I was watching Cusack run through the gamut of painful emotion, and although it did resonate with my own experience, I felt more pity for the character than any pain in myself. More a sense of "Oh yeah... I remember that. Poor guy."
Yeah, this shift is a REALLY good thing.
Speaking of which, I had lunch with Raechelle today. Took some sandwiches by her office and we walked down to Lake Union and sat on some park benches, had ourselves a Cameron Crowe/Nora Ephron scene. Joked about collaborating on a screenplay someday. Hmmmm.
Chores and work are both piling up. I feel like I was productive overall, but even with so many projects crossed off the list, more gets added to the bottom. It's always the way.