Cleaning Out My Film Rentals #8 Ordinary Love.

As someone who lost his mother to cancer, I’m always very sceptical of “grief porn” dramas. They tend to fall into two categories. The schmaltzy teen romance or the “look at how sad we are” kitchen sink drama. I had heard good things about this film in which Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville play a long-married couple who have to adjust after she gets diagnosed with breast cancer. Having seen it it’s one of the few films in this subgenre that I’d actually recommend. It doesn’t overstay its welcome at 93 minutes and the depiction of the treatment process (from the perspective of a loved one) is relatively accurate without falling into the shmaltz or overwrought emotion that this subgenre is known for. It’s helped by two excellent central performances (even it can be hard as a viewer to reconcile Neeson softer side with all his late period action movies) and a script that really sells the deep connexion between the two central characters. The viewer gets the sense they would provide each other a level of support regardless of the treatment outcome. this is something that a lot of the films in this subgenre are distinctly missing. this is in part because most are aimed squarely at the teenage market. The film doesn’t have a great deal on its mind beyond the central premise but its short enough that this is not a huge issue. At its core this very sensitive and heartfelt look at very difficult subject matter and it deserves credit for that   even if the relative lack of ambition holds the film back from true transcendent power. 

8/10 

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