A Long Way Down Review – Not the Suicide Fall Some Say

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"A Long Way Down," from Magnolia Pictures and BBC Films, brings to the screen a blended misfit family of four lost souls who find themselves uncommonly united as fate throws down a challenge stopping their perfectly planned ending.


Starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Potts, Aaron Paul and Sam Neil, "A Long Way Down" is directed by Pascal Chaumeil based on the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornsby and was adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne.

"A Long Way Down" opens with voice over by as Pierce Brosnan as Martin Sharpe, the disgraced darling of Britain's morning television who after a series of missteps including criminal dalliances is now a pariah, lonely, divorced without the hope of another People's Choice Award he heads off this New Year's Eve to Topper House Tower, London's most famous suicide sight to end it all.

The best laid plans, of course, come to a screeching halt as we meet at the top, Maureen, played by Toni Collette, a single mother of a severely physically challenged adult son, who we don't meet until later in the film, on New Year's Eve we find that she , quirky and conservative, decides if she were dead the medical care for her son would be better and then our two other New Year's Eve misfits, a pizza delivery boy, J.J. played by Aaron Paul, and lastly Jess, played by Imogen Potts, a loud, foul mouthed, deeply suffering and injured London Party Girl looking to fill a missing void.

As the story progresses the cliché of suicide on New Year's Eve ends up being a wash and the four decide Valentine's Day is the more appropriate holiday for a suicide pact.

It turns out Sharpe is still quite the tabloid fodder as is Jess, who's father, played by Sam Neill, as a distinguished parliamentarian politician, is hoping to put out any smoldering fires set on by the frenzied paparazzi still thirsty for a sensational story as the fresh grave of his family's disturbing skeletons burst forth as we find Jess' injury steams not from being spoiled, privileged or bad parenting but a sadder revelation as her sister went missing two years ago, vanished, leaving the family paralyzed with grief.

The four decide to tackle the media, possibly earning a few pounds along with fifteen minutes, who expectedly blindside them forcing Jess, clearly the most vulnerable and unstable, into an intentional meltdown.

Sharpe takes the lead and the four, unsure of their next steps as the tabloids have their story, which is quite grand, head off on holiday ushering in a new dimension to their gelling relationship.

If "A Long Way Down" remained living in the depression of the four lives that brought them together it would be over quick and fortunately it doesn't.  "A Long Way Down" doesn't stay down, slowly bringing transition to the film, over the course of six weeks, as incremental highpoints begin to filter through the London Fog.

I enjoyed watching Pierce Bronson playing a character that was not indestructible, someone who had almost fatal flaws, still ruggedly handsome, and this character could usher in a transitional time in his career.  Possibly the chiseled super agent is behind him, but the solid man, with flaws, a vulnerable man, is always in need.

Imogen Potts is a star on the rise. She is exceptional, and continues to deliver solid performances. She hits her character arch so smoothly that in the six weeks from New Year's Eve to Valentine's Day, it is almost a spiritual deliverance of the hidden demons gnawing at her.

Toni Collette is as impressive as always. Her quirkiness is somewhat overplayed in parts switching from the fawning fan to suicidal to caregiver, which at the time she is introduced the audience doesn't understand the multi dimensional personality, and her suicide plans end, without further mental invasion.

Aaron Paul is new to the big screen, although no stranger to acting as he starring in the critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" cable series. He brings rawness, a fish out of water; he is an American and plays one in the film. Life isn't as easily fixed for J.J. and Paul portrays that, his home is across the pond, no support system and clearly no one needs him, his passion and hope both left him, abandoned in a foreign country. He plays the desperation without physically presenting it.

"A Long Way Down" has been given the keys to Topper's Tower by the mainstream media leaving a note behind suggesting the film is doomed and a quick R.I.P. is best.

I've heard and read scathing reviews and I wonder if we're watching the same film. Clearly "A Long Way Down" is not a period defining piece, not a laugh till my sides ached and doubtful it will win awards and yet it is not the worst film even in current release.

Honestly, "A Long Way Down," is not the suicide fall that others say, isn't going to rule the box office, and it isn't bad either.

 "A Long Way Down" opens in select cities July 11, 2014 and is VOD and other streaming platforms.



Haute Tease

  • Walt Disney Pictures Hosts Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Global Premiere

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, a fast action, high seas, comedic adventure from Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, recently hosted its world premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. 

  • High Rise Review - Impressive Performances Hold This Graphically Violent Film Together

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    High Rise, from Magnolia Pictures, Film4 and BFI, presents a perfect allegory of the degradation of society when restraint and boundaries are completely or limited removed when a newly minted luxury apartment building faces a failure of services.

  • LONDON TERROR ATTACK: SKY News Reports Suspect ID; Nineteen Injured in Early Morning Explosion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A crude, partially detonated, bomb exploded on the Parsons Green Tube Line in London, injuring nineteen people and causing mass panic and a stampede as terrified commuters rushed out the open doors to escape the fireball.

  • Travel Hints: Combating Frustrating Air Travel Aggravations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Thanksgiving travel just ahead of us and 24.6Million passengers expected to travel by air which equates to upwards of 65,000K extra passengers per day this year ­ a new study, from AAA, explains what consumers find most frustrating about air travel.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama, G7, Agenda; Election; Egypt Air; Syria Bombings; Cosby in Court; Bob Dylan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The leaders of the G7 met this week in Ise Shima Japan to reiterate their commitments to advance major global economic and political agenda guided by a set of common values based on freedom, democracy, respect for human rights.

  • A Morning Stroll Presents Shocking Symbolism of Society’s Destruction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Morning Stroll, a Studio AKA/Grant Orchard film, presents through the use of clear and shocking symbolism and parallels, society’s degradation and hopeless chance for renewal.

  • Maya Smith, Celebrity Hair Stylist, Gives Straight Talk on Curl Care

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whether they want to blow it straight, or create loose curls or maximize their tighter coils, people with wavy or curly hair are always looking for new products, tips and tricks to lock in their desired look.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Evaluates His Admin; Aleppo; EgyptAir Terror; Jordan; Holiday High Alerts; Road Rage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama hosted the White House Press Corps for his final, no holds barred, end of the year administration evaluation taking questions without any buffer, the President spoke candidly on the success and failures of his tenure.

  • The White Crow Review - Captivating, Breathtaking, Magnificent, A Must See

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The White Crow, from Sony Picture Classics and BBC Films, presents the story of Rudolf Nureyev, weaving his early childhood, dedicated and all-consuming training, his triumphant debut at the Palais Garnier, and his defection to the West.

  • Alcove Group Develops the First Mobile Workstation

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Alcove Group is preparing to launch a Kickstarter Campaign for their first product, a first-of-its-kind laptop case that unfolds into a sleek private workstation with backlight and patent-pending noise-directing side panels providing privacy without a bulky look and awkward feel.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Putin; ISIL/Syria/Russia; Turkey; SC Flooding; Dem’s Debate; Pot Sales Brisk

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and former ostracized Russian President Vladimir Putin have apparently put their differences behind them as the two have teamed together in the common purpose of riding Syria of Islamic State Fighters and Syria's political transition.

  • The Boss Baby Review - Charming, A Romper Room of Silliness and Fun

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Boss Baby, from DreamWorks Animation, presents the story of family, of brothers, of imaginative adventure of two brothers who learn the world needs more dynamic duo’s and is more fun when there is someone to share the voyages.

  • Weinstein Gallery Extends Raumlichtkunst Exhibition

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In response to the deep interest and enthusiasm for Raumlichtkunst (c.1926/2012)by German-American artist Oskar Fischinger, Weinstein Gallery has extended the exhibition to February 10th, 2018 and hosts a lecture and exhibition tour with Oskar Fischinger curator and archivist.

  • Bay Area Musicals Announces 2018-2019 Season Titles Include: Crazy For You, Violet, Hairspray

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bay Area Musicals (Matthew McCoy, Founder & Artistic Director, and AeJay Mitchell, Managing Director) has announced the show titles for its upcoming fourth season. The 2018-2019 season begins with Tony Award-winning Best Musical CRAZY FOR YOU.

  • HL Tech: Top Ten TVs That Offer the Most for Your Money

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From sports to streaming movies, today's best and most innovative televisions bring the theater experience into the living room. They generate stunning colors, contrast, clarity, resolution and audio, and they're complemented by an impressive menu of features. They're also prohibitively expensive for many buyers.