Saturday, January 24, 2015


      Jennifer Aniston gets serious in this dour, depressing story of a woman struggling with depression and chronic pain after a devastating accident. There is a missed opportunity with the script however, that could have examined issues facing the debilitating emotional and physical aspects of chronic pain sufferers in a much richer and informative way. Instead we have Claire, a character that is hard to like and have any sympathy for as she alienates everyone around her.

       Besides her constant physical pain, Claire is deeply troubled by emotional issues that are not revealed until midway through the film. Once exposed, the intention is to see the character in a different light but the opportunity misses the mark. 

       The film co-stars Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Chris Messina, Sam Worthington and Felicity Huffman. But this is clearly a showpiece for Ms. Aniston. She does an admirable job in a difficult role delivering a understated performance that is unlike anything she has done before. Ms. Barraza is also excellent as Claire's Mexican housekeeper/aide who remains faithful to a woman who clearly doesn't deserve it.

      Credit the film for exploring difficult subject matter. Unfortunately it is crushed beneath the weight of it's heavy handed presentation.

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