Things We Lost in the Fire [Blu-ray]
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Brian Burke (David Duchovny) is a generously warm man to his beautiful wife Audrey (Halle Berry), their son Dory (Micah Berry), and daughter
Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) as well as to his longtime, childhood friend Jerry Sunborne (Benecio Del Toro) who is constantly struggling with an addiction to heroin. Brian is suddenly dead as the film opens and the friends are gathered at the Burke home for the funeral. Audrey is devastated by the abrupt loss and quietly bears her shock in order to be present for her children. During the reception Audrey suddenly remembers she has not informed Brian's best friend Jerry of his death and sends her brother to fetch him for the services. We meet the wasted Jerry, the shambles of his heroin-addicted life obvious in his tiny apartment, and yet when Jerry hears the news of Brian's death, he is profoundly shocked: Brian is the only friend he has. Jerry makes himself presentable and attends the funeral and despite the fact that Audrey had always considered Jerry a 'weight' on Brian, the two offer each other a zone of connection that cannot be filled by any other.Read more ›
The story is told in present tense, but cleverly spliced in flashbacks fill in the background. Halle plays Audrey Bruke, a mother of two, whose husband Brian, played by "X Files" David Duchovny, is killed (I won't spoil the story by stating how, but we are told he's killed early on). We learn via the flashbacks that his childhood friend, Jerry, very well played by Del Toro, with whom he is still close is now a heroin addict and that Brian is the only friend he has left checks on him regularly and buys him food much to Audrey irritation as she worries about him going to see Jerry in the very bad neighborhood in which he lives.
Perhaps as a way of hanging onto her dead husband's memory or simply out of a selfish need for company, Audrey invites Jerry to "recover" from his addiction at her home in the garage that was made into a studio apartment after a fire in which she recalls endlessly complaining about "what we lost in the fire", but to which her husband Brian always used to say "but we didn't lose each other and that's the important thing in life", hence, the film's title.
Audrey's character is complex to say the least as she makes demands of Jerry that are inappropriate and selfish, like helping her fall to sleep at night by rubbing her ears the way her Brian had at bedtime. The whole scene screams false and contrived to begin with, but add to that that she invites Jerry to kind of be a part of the family and then resents his closeness to the kids later. Again, she's a complex character, but numerous moments stretch credibility when juxtaposed to more credible moments.Read more ›
Brian (David Duchovny) and Audrey (Halle Berry) Burke start the deliberations as a loving, mixed racial couple. He's a successful businessman, and they have two lively and likable children, Harper (10) and Dory (6), who look up to dad, even though he's a bit rough when teaching the timid Dori how to swim. Not a perfect family, but love and prosperity pervade their home. Instantly, we make a connection when Brian tells Dory she is like a fluroscent light, glowing from within.
Creating friction is Brian's best friend from childhood, Jerry Sunborne (Benedicio Del Toro) who is a heroin addict on the mend and attending Narcotics Anonymous Meetings. In contrast to Brian's well-furnished dwelling, Jerry lives in an apartment that looks like the living space of a cheap motel room. He finds different ways to be on the mend, but as The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" reverberates through his headphones, we start to get an idea of the draw. (And those well-edited time frames that nervously jump to the near future give one a close observation of the mending consciousness of an addict.) Audrey resents how much time and effort Brian puts into their relationship and notes that he is the giver and Jerry is the benefactor with little room for give and take.
Then during a self-less act I won't go into here, Brian loses his life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a Christmas gift. The person asked for it by name. Thank goodness for Amazon. She is going to love it!Published 2 months ago by MG
Halle Berry, plus Benecio Del Toro; can't get any better than that. Superb acting by the complete cast; and the children were so natural. Read morePublished 3 months ago by aocd