Monday, June 9, 2008

The Passion in Pain

Author(s): Bryce
Location: CA

"The Passion in Pain"

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
Written by: Ronald Harwood
Produced by: Steve Tisch, and Bob Yari

Main Cast

Nathan Fillion as Mike Thomas
Elisabeth Shue as Tracy Thomas
Rachel Covey as Meagan Thomas
Kevin Kline as Jack Carter
Carrie-Anne Moss as Judy Louise
Jeremy Renner as Cameron Louise
John Cusack as Kevin Mirk

Tagline: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional"

Synopsis: It was only a few years ago, when Mike and Tracy Thomas had found Meagan, a baby girl, just laying on the sidewalk crying. What seemed to be an horrible act, actually turned out to be a blessing from God. Mike and Tracy grew to love Meagan. She became apart of the family, as if Meagan was their own daughter. But past has a funny way of resurfacing when you least expect it. Cameron and Judy Louise are Meagan's real parents, and they have come to take her back. However, Mike and Tracy will not let Meagan go without a fight, and Cameron and Judy are ready to fight for Meagan.

Both couples have hired prestigious lawyers to represent them. Mike and Tracy hired Jack Carter to represent them. Jack Carter's daughter was kidnapped and missing for two years, and she was just recently rescued last week. While Cameron and Judy have hired Kevin Mirk, whose wife left him because he was sterile and couldn't provide the child she wanted badly.

What follows is one of the most emotionally intense cases to take place in town, and the case soon becomes the talk of the town. The big question in everyone's mind is who will come out the winner? Could Cameron's past criminal record effect their chances to win? Or maybe the fact that Tracy is schizophrenic will cost her the child she greatly admires.

While the battle in court heats up, the parents can't help but raise their own questions. Cameron and Judy are haunted by the memories of abandoning their child, and can't help but to ask themselves if they deserved to get their child back. While Mike and Tracy, who does not have the wealth of Cameron and Judy, ponder if Meagan would have a better future living with her real parents.

While all these questions surface from the town, and from the people involved, in the end only one question will remain. Who will ultimately be the legal parents of Meagan?

What the Press would say:

Pain. It's something that we all fear one way or another, yet we all know we have to endure it. Sometimes we may even have to purposely seek pain in order to do what we think is right. But how much suffering can the human go through? especially when they know they do not have to go through it. It is this question that makes up the heart and soul of "The Passion in Pain". This movie is much more than a courtroom/custody drama. It's a story that takes a deep and in-depth look at characters whose own motives are their own poison. These parents want to raise their child, but going through the process to get that right is causing such anxiety and suffering to not only themselves, but to the child they wish to raise. It is this theme that makes "The Passion in Pain" a unique movie, and it is what also helps make this movie an emotional masterpiece.

The movie as a whole is more of a character study ensemble piece, than a full blown court-drama. It focuses more on the characters and what they go through because of the event, rather than focusing on trying to convince the audience which side is right or wrong. This aspect was made even more convincing because of the outstanding directorial efforts of Gabriele Muccino. He's able to make audience feel every emotion the characters are going through.You feel personally connected to each of the characters, and feel you are some what responsible for their actions. Furthermore, you also feel the need to see what they will do next, and hope they make the right decision. Sounds familiar? If your a parent it should sound like the concern a parent has for his/her child. It's that perspective I feel the movie was aiming for, and for the most part I felt it delivered the challenge it set out to achieve.

When talking about the acting for the movie, you have to talk about John Cusack. Cusack plays the attorney of the child-less couple, while he also has a child-less past. It's interesting to see how his personal feelings about his clients change as the movie progress, as his personal life is effected by the case, and then seeing it all reflected in the courtroom. It's a different character for the usual charming Cusack, but a very powerful performance. Kevin Kline also provides a great performance, as the lawyer who is trying to connect with his kidnaped daughter who had just been returned to him. The constant efforts of his character trying to re-connect the relationship him and his daughter once had is quite emotional on-screen. Elisabeth Shue is also amazing, as the schizophrenic mother whose schizophrenia becomes even more intense as the trail continues and her doubts as a mother plague her mind. Jeremy Renner provides quite a good performance as the child's real father who feels being their for his child can be the only way to redeem his soul from the sins he has committed in the past.

"The Passion in Pain" is a emotional thrill-ride that will conjure up emotions in you like no other film has in the past ten years. It's much more than a masterpiece, and much more than a modern classic. It's, without a doubt, the best film of the year that everyone will love and enjoy. ****/****

Best Picture
Best Director- Gabriele Muccino
Best Supporting Actor- John Cusack
Best Supporting Actor- Kevin Kline
Best Supporting Actor- Jeremy Renner
Best Supporting Actress- Elisabeth Shue
Best Original Screenplay- Ronald Harwood
Best Film Editing
Best Original Score
Best Cinematography

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