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Things We Lost In the Fire

Haunting agony and angst
By TOM MEEK  |  October 17, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro

Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) has just lost husband Brian (David Duchovny), and she’s struggling to get their bi-racial children to cope. The arrival of Brian’s best friend, Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), complicates her despair: a recovering heroin addict whom Audrey has long disapproved of, he shows up for the funeral and sticks around. Themes of healing and moving on take hold, but that’s not readily evident as much of the plodding story unfolds in flashbacks, circling around to just before the beginning, when Brian intervenes in a domestic dispute and catches a bullet for his trouble. Cold-turkey scene and all, it’s Del Toro’s movie, but Berry and Duchovny offer strong support. The languid, affected strokes with which Danish director Susanne Bier underscores the characters’ angst and agony are haunting and purposeful — too bad the bigger melodrama doesn’t equal its piquant parts.
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