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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Every Thing Will Be Fine

Wim Wenders - Germany, France, Canada, Sweden, Norway

One distracted moment is all it takes to change everything. While driving on a backwoods road during a snow storm, an apathetic writer Tomas (James Franco) accidentally hits and kills a young boy. Perhaps Tomas should have been paying closer attention to the road, or maybe the young boy’s older brother should have been more careful, or their mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg) should have called them home before it got so late in the evening. In truth, it was no one’s fault. Despite this, the ramifications of the young boy’s death echoes through the lives of those who remain behind for years to come.
It is a grim story, and one that you can’t help but feel dragged into. Something like this could happen to anyone, and that is part of the draw. Director Wim Wenders’ use of color, texture, and symbols brings an ethereal quality to the film which only enhances the dramatic (melodramatic perhaps?) feeling of the whole production. The addition of 3D helps bring a depth and beauty to many of the shots and is not gaudy in the least, but complements the overall beauty of the film. It is obviously catering to a more artistic audience who won’t mind the long, thoughtful shots of light across a living room wall or a beautiful view of the countryside. All of it is lovingly brought forward to make contrasts and comparisons between the world and the turmoil of the characters. There is some beautiful artistry throughout the film, but it is unfortunately often disrupted by unprofessional editing which cut scenes confusingly short.
Of particular note is the acting of James Franco. Normally he seems to almost overact his scenes in films or not act at all and merely play himself (an issue which came to the fore in another festival film Queen of the Desert), but in this instance he managed to do quite an admirable job. His understated acting as a guilt-ridden writer was never too much, and while it still fell short of truly impressive, for Franco it was quite a step up from his usual abilities. There is no truly highly dramatic acting in this film; indeed most of the characters seem extremely reserved considering the circumstances. But in a way that is almost refreshing to see, because everyone does handle grief in their own way and it was interesting to follow a man growing with his grief.
Every Thing Will Be Fine is a thoughtful portrait of bereavement. Bereavement does not just go away quickly, and certainly not in an instance such as what is shown in the film. It lingers for years and creates a deep impression upon everyone who was affected. There is much to recommend this film, but its technical beauty and the refined way it deals with emotions is something not to be missed. (RF)

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