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  • This is a wonderful spectacular and emotional film. It grabs at the heartstrings. It makes you think. It makes you fall in love with a wonderful cast of dynamic characters, which are flawlessly performed on screen by an all-star ensemble of a cast. I think this was directed wonderfully.

    I believe the story-line came together in a believable fashion. I think the viewer becomes a part of the overall story. You can relate to the characters. You seem to meld into the mindset and the actions and the emotional reality of the story. The story-line is something we all can become a part of and relate to and feel like we have gone through it or know someone that has gone through it.

    It shocks me that this movie has got such bad ratings. The critics are absolutely wrong on this one. This is a touching story. A wake up call so you can say what needs to be said and done before it's too late. Like I say this is a film that is a true drama that needs to be seen. It's almost as if coming to a point in your life when you realize what needs to be done, has to be done now, there's a deadline and it makes you experience that reality.

    It's great and funny at times. Nice originality and a relatable cast, relatable story and a flow of the direction, we all can become a part of. The film is very fresh. It seems like it's a moment of everyday life that you come in-sync with at what's taking place. At times you laugh, you're moved through an emotional journey of life and death and choices.

    You can finish my review here: http://www.abucketofcorn.com/2014/07/lullaby-2014.html
  • This is a truly beautiful and deeply moving film. While it may sound a bit depressing, it's anything but.

    It's funny fresh and completely life affirming.

    The performances are flawless and Garrett Hedlund and Richard Jenkins are magnificent. Jessica Brown Findlay, Anne Archer and Jessica Barden are also wonderful. Jennifer Hudson has never been better.

    The music and feel of the film is fresh and really satisfying.

    It made me want to call everyone I hold close and tell them exactly how much I appreciate them and love them.

    Life is short.

    See it!!
  • Gordon-114 September 2014
    This film tells the story of a dysfunctional family, who is reunited by the terminally ill father's decision to pull himself off life support.

    "Lullaby" is named quite the opposite of what it really is. It is a dark film with a lot of arguments and dysfunctional interactions. It is not easy to watch. The pacing is very slow, and I think the film can be a lot shorter, especially by cutting out the music scenes that are unnecessarily long. Jennifer Hudson is memorable as a nurse with attitude, I am quite unsure if nurses in the States really act like that! The ending speech by the daughter is very touching, but it is still not enough to save "Lullaby" as a tedious film.
  • The story centers around a son's and daughter's responses to a father's desire to end all palliative treatment, designed to keep him alive, in spite of his having an incurable cancer. Unfortunately, I didn't really know where this movie was going with the story. I saw a family of three arguing mostly, and going through emotional breakdowns without an ounce of genuineness.

    The son is a musician who had a falling out with the family. Nothing else is mentioned about him. He grunts and yells, and goes through some emotional wrangling as he tries to accept his father wishes. The daughter's response is even more incomprehensible. Since her father took her and his son off his will, she started getting upset. Then she goes on about a person's right to die versus a responsibility to help family by staying alive. A little speech is inserted attesting to this. The mother mostly cries but has a few emotional breakdowns. That, in essence, was the movie, except that it was punctuated by a few "heartwarming moments" with a former girlfriend and young cancer patient, moments that didn't help with the unevenness of the script.

    I saw no chemistry among the actors. The script was messy and the emotional reactions constantly displayed throughout the film became distracting. All four actors and their abilities were wasted on a poor script.
  • anpa_276 December 2016
    Don't let the present 6.2 rating here fool you. This movies is below the average. And please do not watch it because you like Amy Adams. She barely appears in the movie.

    The whole plot looks forced, specially Adams' character, which was there probably to fool viewers into watching this. The story does not lead anywhere and tries too hard to be a lesson in life.

    Pretentious, without any new ideas, and pointless are the best adjectives to describe it. It's the first work of this director, who clearly intended to make a emotionally loaded movie with a message, but ended with a broken piece.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with reviewers on this site, as I found this film one of the most depressing I've seen in quite awhile. I imagine the writer and director, Andrew Levitas, wanted to bring forth the messages of enjoy life while you can and be open with family and friends, and while there is some poignancy near the end of the movie, I just found the road to get there a slow and torturous one.

    The characters and dialog came across to me as wooden and stilted, like they were just saying their lines but I never got a sense of really knowing them. Additionally, it seemed like the cast occasionally would come out with an ad-lib or "inside joke" where they all laughed, but when I spot this in a film it really annoys me.

    The story, often told in flashbacks, revolves around the rich patriarch of the family, Robert Weinstein (Richard Jenkins) wanting to have his doctor (Terrence Howard) help him in an assisted suicide. Robert has managed to stay alive 12 years , after getting an initial prognosis that he would be dead in 6 months. However, now he's tired of all the debilitating procedures that he has endured and wants to end it all.

    So his estranged son Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund) is returning to New York, although still filled with anger and resentment, to join his mother Rachel (Anne Archer) and sister Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay) at the hospital. Thus, the bulk of the movie centers on the family dynamics playing out in a 24 hour period, which to me, as mentioned were filled with morose, depressive, and melodramatic scenes.

    There's a side story here, where Jonathan befriends 17-year-old Meredith at the hospital, who is terminally ill with bone cancer. Levitas makes sure we know that all the kids in the cancer ward will never enjoy the life of those who aren't ill.

    Amy Adams is advertised as a star of the film, but her screen time is limited. She always "lights up the screen" with her charisma, but her character here is half-baked and underdeveloped. I thought it was an affront to the viewer to list her as one of the main attractions here.

    I don't mean to sound curmudgeonly or mean-spirited here, but unless a viewer is undergoing similar personal themes in their lives and can relate that way, I would not regard this movie as entertainment, but more of an exercise in melancholia, the way it is presented.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    the story, stars, picture all look ordinary. However, overall, this movie is very good and recommended. It touches me and will stay with me for long.

    It teaches about fatherhood, heritage, compass of Past, Present and Future. How son missed a great love of his father because of misjudgement or by rebelling because felt could not match fathers expectation

    Garret Hedlund, Jessica Brown and Rihard Jenkins are superb

    It must be low budget movie..but its impact not. Quite surprise how people rated it even under 6..
  • nodleigh16 September 2014
    A triumph of 2-dimensional characters, drawn with a crayon, of whom it's impossible to care about even one.

    From cliché tropes and dreadful TV movie dialog to the insulting racist and antisemitic stereotypes, we move from one uncomfortable, phoned in faux-motional outburst to another, punctuated by belabored death bed pronouncements croaked from said bed that seems to be all over the fantasy hospital-- its inhabitant looking on, ghostly and benign.

    This ham handed pro assisted suicide flyer is a small, small film, that never should have made it past broadcast television. Avoid at all costs.
  • Andrew Levitas makes his screen writing and directing debut in this little film LULLABY and for a first time effort, despite all the rough unfinished edges of the canvas, he gives notice of a man with a fairly keen perception of the complex interrelationships of dysfunctional families.

    Jonathan Lowenstein (Garrett Hedlund) lives in Los Angeles attempting to become a singer of note and has been estranged from his wealthy New York family for years, always feeling as though he was unable to live up to his father's expectations. One day, he suddenly receives word that his terminally ill father Robert Lowenstein (Richard Jenkins) wishes to be taken off life support after a 12 year struggle with lung cancer and has 36 hours to live. When he agrees to visit his father, he unintentionally sets up a family conflict with no easy resolution. His mother (Annie Archer) has been caretaker of Robert and is happy to have the family reunited: Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay), the younger sister in law school, struggles with resentment for Jonathan, Jonathan detests the fact that he must observe the dying wishes of Robert (including setting up Seder when Jonathan has a history of disregarding his Jewish heritage), cope with Karen's acerbic flairs, deal with a stranger Meredith (Jessica Barden) who is 17 years old and dying of bone cancer who shares her needs with Jonathan and he with her, and re-encountering his lost love Emily (Amy Adams). Some of the best moments are provided by Jennifer Hudson as the potty mouth bitchy nurse, Terence Howard as the attending physician who is to aids Robert's 'assisted suicide', and Daniel Sunjata as a policeman who joins in the Seder. Though there are funny moments the story hangs on the subject of death and end of life situations, sharing the manner in which we evaluate our lives and our purposes in this life at that transformative moment of death of a loved one.

    Though falling frequently into the overplayed anger/grief/sobbing triad the actors are very fine and they make the film worth watching. Grady Harp, July 14
  • I first noticed Garrett Hedlund in On The Road, where I thought he was brilliant, in all senses of the word. The trailer for Lullaby also looked enticing. After watching the movie I can tell you that I don't regret my decision, I liked it very much, but it is not something that you can relax with or something that can be enjoyed at all times and by anyone.

    The plot is simple: family patriarch is dying and the family gathers around him at this difficult moment. We get to understand each character, mostly Hedlund's though, and their interaction. Courageous bald cancer girl and ex-girlfriend clichés are also present to further the story.

    People have talked about the length of the film and, indeed, to witness human uncomfortable suffering for two hours felt a little too much. However all actors played well, except maybe Jessica Brown Findlay, but she is just beginning, cut her some slack; the script was very nice and I could find no real flaws in the direction or other production values. Maybe bracing through two hours of good film is not so bad after all, is it?

    My personal take from the movie is that people always expect something from you and when they have nothing to lose, like when they are dying or are overwhelmed by pain, they actually demand it. I am still not convinced that being annoyed rather than involved is the bad thing to do. It makes for a good movie to get involved, I guess.

    Bottom line: watch out for Garrett Hedlund, he will be rising. The movie was great, but watch it when you are in the mood for consistent emotional dramatic tension, not at breakfast before you get to work. i think it is also cathartic for people who lost or are going to lose somebody soon. And Richard Jenkins is always good in the role of the dying or dead father, isn't he? :)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie hit very close to home as my mother decided to stop all medical intervention 4 years ago. We didn't have the messy family dynamics but there were 13 family members in the room from great grands to her husband so many personalities. This movie did a great job of revealing the process after a loved one makes a choice to stop medical intervention except not everyone dies so quickly. She was not overdosed on morphine but she was heavily dosed to keep her comfortable and not aware she was suffocating slowly. One day of waiting for all the hoops to be jumped through and then it took 2 days for her to die and like in the movie the room exploded with cries. If you want to understand the experience this is a good movie to see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watched this movie about a family dealing with a loved one's final days after having fought cancer for years. The cast was solid all around but the script is where this movie fails its audience. Jennifer Hudson,who plays a nurse on the cancer floor,is portrayed as a crass,crude and heartless person who insists that visiting hours are over and complains that too many people are crowding her hallway.

    Its extremely disrespectful to all the hard working nurses who are on the front line of advanced cancer patients,doing their best to provide comfort and compassion to the dying. No nurse would EVER tell a family member that a patient would have to wait to be cleaned up if they soiled their bed as Hudson's character does in this movie. They would move as quickly as possible to help. It is because of scenes like this that really brings this film way down....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Trigger Warning(s): Deals with death of parent and children with cancer

    With top billing belonging to Amy Adams, the familiar face of Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey, and a sad topic which seemed like it would lead to a good cry, what other reasons would you need to see the film?

    Characters & Story

    After leaving New York to pursue music in California, Robert's (Richard Jenkins) son Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund) returns only a day or so before Robert, after 12 years, is ready to die. Something his daughter Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay) refuses to let happen. But, with only a day, or so, until Robert's Dr. (Terrence Howard) is to perform an assisted suicide of sorts, Karen doesn't have much time to convince her dad to stick around much longer.

    Praise

    The more and more media I watch when it comes to people having cancer, dealing with family members dying, and other similar themes, I must admit I have built a sort of tolerance. Yet, with this film I found myself getting a bit emotional throughout. For while neither of my own parents are sick, nor anyone I personally know, the performances by both Hedlund and Findlay do bring you to that possible point where you realize that the natural way of the world, unfortunately, is for children to bury their parents.

    But, it isn't just Hedlund and Findlay, with of course Jenkins being front and center, that get you when watching this film. A side story with Jon dealing with this 17 year old cancer patient named Meredith (Jessica Barden) I think damn near matched the emotional impact of Robert's sickness. Which perhaps is weird to say since Meredith is a stranger to Jon in comparison to his dad, but what Meredith brought to the movie was a more unique, if not rare, angle to dying. For, to my media knowledge, there aren't too many movies or TV shows which focus on kids dying of cancer, and while arguably there is The Fault In Our Stars, I do feel Meredith gave us a more realist depiction of cancer than the optimistic, and arguably romanticized, view The Fault In Our Stars had for most of its movie. In fact, I sort of wish that Jon's sole side story was simply his character developing through hanging around Meredith and his sister more than anything else.

    Criticism

    Now, being that this film has a depressing subject matter, naturally it feels long. But being that it is nearly 2 hours, it feels so long that honestly I had to walk away sometimes. What doesn't help things though is as much as it was nice to get to know Jon, I felt the addition of Emily (Amy Adams) wasn't fully necessary to the story and could have been cut. For, after watching the film, I think the sole reason she is included is because she a recognizable name and not because her character really adds to the movie. For as Jon's ex she may let us know how bad he is with expressing his emotions, but with his dad dying it does make you wonder why they needed to go into Jon's love life?

    Also, I must admit that I felt bored at times when it was just Jon and Robert in a scene together. For while they certainly had chemistry, and issues between them, I just didn't feel that invested in Jon's life overall. Be it because he is a spoiler rich kid who just seemed a tad aimless, or because he seemed only devastated about his dad's death, at first, because he wasn't getting any money. Either way, the only thing which made his character interesting was when he was with the rest of his family, with Meredith, or one of the few scenes he had alone with his sister Karen.

    Overall: TV Viewing

    This is one of those movies which start off strong, but as time goes on it wears out its welcome to the point you start looking at your watch a bit. For while the story will probably affect you emotionally, especially the one with Meredith, I just felt that after a while there was too much focus on Jon's life and not enough on either Robert's suffering, and decision, or how it affected his wife and daughter. Because of that, I am labeling this as "TV Viewing." For if the film wasn't so damn focused on Jon it could have been "Worth Seeing," but be it that the decision was to make Jon center of the universe, it gave the film a serious flaw.

    Collected Quote(s)

    "You have to listen, and share, which are two things you suck at. (And) I'm not talking about your bed and your tooth brush. I'm talking about life things, like real things, things that move you, things that make you feel, like a dream or a song." — Lullaby

    "Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely." — Lullaby

    "I hope some day you become proud of your heritage, that you treat it as a lifeline and not a sentence." — Lullaby
  • bikerhiker4627 October 2014
    Quality Concept, Quality Writing, Quality Directing, Quality Acting, Quality Soundtrack! If this movie doesn't win an Academy Award the Hollywood establishment is simply beyond hope!

    Whenever I see Richard Jenkins' name on a production I stop and take a close look. He's the sort of actor who is so good at his job that it doesn't seem like "acting" at all. Thus when I noticed that he was part of the cast in Lullaby I pressed enter on my Apple TV control and settled back to enjoy the ride.

    And what a ride it proved to be!

    Terms like Gut Wrenching only hint at the roller coaster ups and downs of a script beyond excellent and words like "real" are so spot on that even the most rabid cliché hater must of needs use that descriptor...

    One wonders how anyone could survive the writing of this script, or the directing of this movie, or the acting out of these roles.

    Difficult conundrums faced with hesitancy but ultimately depicted with brutal honesty and yet delicate sensitivity!

    The sort of movie everyone can be proud of being involved in...and that includes even the act of watching it.

    Bravo, and thanks to all involved!
  • One of the many problems of this movie is the cast. People like Amy Adams and Terence Howard are wasted in small roles. RIchard Jenkins as always is great but he can't rescue the bad script, bad dialog and bad direction that often feels so forced and at times really cringeworthy. Look out for the scenes where the family falls into "fake" laughter. So you potentially have some really good actors but what do you do? You center the movie about the one who is attempting to act. Garrett Hudlunds acting is horrendous. I have never seen him being good but also never as painfully bad as here. I am sure he is trying but it just never works. And I don't know if it is him or the director but in every scene you get the feeling he is positioned in the scene a certain way to accentuate his looks. His pseudo artsy hair- and beardstyle doesn't help. He is a good looking dude but this is not a RomCom it is a drama. Focus on the acting not on looking good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The story centers around Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund), the wayward son who has flashbacks to his past. He has traveled from LA to be with his dying father (Richard Jenkins), who has been fighting cancer for 12 years. The family gets together, feuds, and then bonds in ways that were missing before. Sister Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay) studying law has filed a court injunction to prevent her father from being taken off the machines. This allows us to have a heart warming story about people and kids dying from cancer. Jonathan meets Meridth (Jessica Barden), a 17 year old with a death sentence as they bond smoking in the hallway.

    In case you have Puffs left over from "The Fault in Our Stars," this one is designed to help you finish the box, although it really failed to create that Puffs moment until the end when they over reach for it. Amy Adams has a role far smaller than her billing. This is your typical try to feel good about life Indie with acoustical accompaniment. The film needed a few more light indie moments as it seemed to be heavy just for the sake of being heavy. Good performances by the cast.

    The film teaches us that smokers are criminals and they stink.

    Parental Guidance: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
  • Review: What a touching movie! This deep emotional drama really did touch me and the great performances from the actors, especially Richard Jenkins and the little kids, made this film a joy to watch. Richard Jenkins plays Robert, whose is a successful business man, suffering with terminal cancer. His son, Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund) rushes to be by his bedside but when he arrives at the hospital, his father tells him that he has requested for the machines to be switched off in 48 hours, which have been keeping him alive. Jonathan finds it hard to deal with his decision to end his life and he finds comfort from a young female patient, whilst having a cigarette by the fire escape. He then returns to his father and mother, Rachel (Anne Archer), who also is finding it hard to deal with his decision and when there daughter Karen (Jessica Brown Findlay) arrives, Robert tells them that he has left most of his money to various charities that need it, which doesn't go down to well with Karen and Jonathan. Karen then tells the family that she has taken out an injunction to stop her father from taking his own life and her troubled relationship with her brother, causes them to argue in front of there parents. After a while, the family come together and have a meal in the chapel, we're there mother breaks down because she doesn't know how she's going to live without any money. Jonathan then meets up with his old girlfriend, Emily (Amy Adams), who manages to calm him down and explains to him why there relationship broke down. He also manages to have a decent conversation with his sister and there father tells Karen that he would consider not going ahead with the suicide if she can come out with a good enough reason for him to stay alive. While she is putting together her case, Jonathan helps out the same patient that he had a cigarette with, by taking her to a prom, which the other patients put together in the hospital. He then spends the night with his father and Karen brings her case forward in the morning. Although her case is a good one, Robert still wants to go ahead with the suicide and now that the family have come together as one, they agree to his conditions. Dr. Crier (Terence Howard), turns off the machines with Roberts family by his side and they show there love for there father/husband while he slowly passes away. Emotional! I did shed a tear near the end but watching him in pain was just as bad. The spoilt kids bickering did get on my nerves because they were constantly being really selfish, without thinking about there poor mum who, practically lived in the hospital. Nurse Carrie (Jennifer Hudson), brought some needed wit to the movie and Richard Jenkins stayed upbeat to the end. You do need to be in the right frame of mind to watch the film because it is quite depressing but it's an illness that is affecting many people's life's in day to day life. Anyway, I really enjoyed this movie and I definitely recommend it to people who are into there emotional dramas. Enjoyable!

    Round-Up: Garrett Hedlund, 31, first hit the big screen in 2004 in Troy, which isn't a bad way to start your career in cinema and he's also starred in Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers, Eragon, Death Sentence, Tron: Legacy, Country Strong, On The Road, Inside Llewyn Davis and Unbroken. He also plays Hook in the upcoming Pan and he stars alongside Oscar Isaac and Mark Wahlberg  in Mojave so his career has been pretty impressive so far. He did act like a spoilt brat in this movie but once he sorted himself out, he actually didn't turn out to be a bad guy. This is the first movie written and directed by Andrew Levitas, 38, who didn't do a bad job with this delicate subject. He got the most out of the impressive cast and for his first project, he really did show the different sides of how a family dealing with cancer. 

    I recommend this movie to people who are into their dramatic movies starring Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, Terrence Howard, Jennifer Hudson, Garrett Hedlund, Anne Archer and Jessica Brown Findlay. 6/10