Things We Lost in the Fire
Things We Lost in the Fire isn’t a great movie; it isn’t even a really good movie. The screenplay is a little sappy, and the pacing drags in spots. There are times when the director can think of nothing more to do with the camera than to take a tight shot of one of his character’s eyes. But Benicio Del Toro is an actor with a face constructed to express emotion, and as a heroin addict trying to regain himself, he uses that face to plumb the depths of struggle, and the parameters of pain. Even with the sappiness and the 15 minutes of excess running time, the movie has some powerfully honest scenes and, taken together, it has things to say about the meaning of friendship, the horrendous burden of loss and the possibility of personal redemption. Very few people saw this film in theaters. The film had no promotional budget, and it opened in very limited release. Now, however, it’s out on DVD, with a solid performance by Halle Berry to complement the one by Del Toro. Rent this movie; there are far less rewarding ways to spend an evening.