A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.
21 Grams tells the story of three lives brought together by tragedy: the life of a very sick man (Penn), a mother who has lost much (Watts), and a Christian who has recently reformed his ways (Del Toro). Really, these characters and their once-"simple" lives are the focus of this film, and all three characters are mysterious and deep. Each of the three actors gives an excellent performance, but it is Watts who stands out in all her angst. All of them deserved Academy Award nominations, and Penn would've received one along with Watts and Del Toro if not for his incredible performance in Mystic River.
Arriaga's screenplay is incredible too, leaving the outcome inexplicable enough to be real and to make sense. Santaolalla's score is odd enough to fit the dark atmosphere that pervades the film, and stick around for the credits to hear Dave Matthews' fitting conclusion. Also, Prieto's and Procopio's cinematography is gritty enough to depict the unbearable anguish of the characters.
I would praise the direction as well, except that I do have one complaint regarding it. It is often so choppy and irregular that it causes the story to lose a tiny bit of its impact. Perhaps this choppiness fits the film too, but to me it was distracting.
Yet you should definitely check this one out for a sorrowful picture of torment, disgust, and a strange beauty.
Final Grade: A.
- Dec 20, 2004