16 January 2013 | Michael_Elliott
Bland Final Day
4:44 Last Day on Earth (2011)
** (out of 4)
Abel Ferrara's look at the final day on Earth centers on an actor (Willem Dafoe) and his painter girlfriend (Shanyn Leigh) as both of them have different emotions on the big day. 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH isn't a complete success but it's not the disaster that some people made it out to be. It's pretty strange that with so many stories that could be told about the final day, director Ferrara took a rather bland couple to make a film about. These people basically have sex, talk, paint, fight and try to come to terms with dying. None of this stuff is all that extraordinary and it doesn't even seem like Ferrara wanted to do anything too outrageous. For the most part the film is pretty simple from start to finish and it's quite laid back as well. Those expecting something crazy from the controversial director aren't going to find it here, although we are treated to one rather graphic sex scene. The performances for the most part are extremely good with Dafoe stealing the film but this here isn't anything new. The actor is so calm, cool and collective in the part that the character becomes quite memorable even though he isn't given much to do in the story. Leigh is also good in her part as is Natasha Lyonne and Paul Hipp in their small roles. 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH is far from bad but at the same time the entire picture just has a bland feel to it. Fans of the director or Dafoe might want to check it out but others should probably stay away.