Posted by: greercn | March 8, 2013

Side Effects

A film noir thriller that mixes up bits of high finance and evil pharmaceutical companies in one movie? Count me in!

The all-star cast take a simple tale of Emily Mortimer (Rooney Mara) who has vicious side effects from the anti-depressants she takes after husband Martin (Channing Tatum) comes out of prison. Our Emily has seen psychiatrists before, so we know her depression goes way deeper than it would appear to go.

Anyone who has ever been unhappy will flinch at the realism of Emily’s suicide attempts.

Emily and Martin have lost everything when Martin went to prison for insider trading.

Her old shrink (played by a magnificent Catherine Zeta-Jones) gets consulted by her new shrink (Jude Law – balding but still really good-looking).

No spoilers, but I failed to see any of the many plot twists coming.

With a great supporting cast – Polly Draper, Ann Dowd and Vinessa Shaw give excellent performances – this feels like an ensemble piece made with love.

It’s a Steven Soderbergh film, so expect conversations that sometimes go on just a tad too long and lovely cinematography and editing.

And it’s under two hours long which is such a relief.

Atmospheric music by Thomas Newman keeps the mood tense.

It’s not the best film I have seen this year, but the audience at the Stratford East Picturehouse really enjoyed it, as did I. I would like to watch it again, knowing the full story, as I think the leading performances and the story are compelling and intriguing.

Soderbergh says this is his last film and, for me, he has never made anything as arresting as “sex, lies and videotape”. And I hasten to add, before indignant defenders of his other films comment, that I enjoy almost all of his films and welcome a lively discussion on the merits of his other movies.

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