Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Lost One

Author(s): Clarence
Location: N/A

"The Lost One"

Producer: Todd Field
Director: Todd Field
Writer: Rebecca Torres

Main Cast

Toni Collette: Janet Biels
Adrien Brody: Mark Biels
Marcia Cross: Emee Brummer
Natalie Portman: Clarisse
Laurie Metcalf: Heather
Jude Law: Tom Evers
Shoreh Aghdashoo: Dr. Jeanette

Tagline: "Nothing is worse than A Mother’s Loss"

Synopsis: The film starts with the sound of a computer keyboard. Then we see a woman reading articles on childbirth. Then we are introduced to the main character, Janet (Collette). The scene flashes to a couple in bed who talks about their day. Janet tells her husband that she longed for a baby. The couple makes love. The scene flashes to 12 days later where Janet takes a pregnancy test in a bathroom. After three years of trying to conceive a baby, Janet, a writer who gave up her career to start a family, finally got her wish. Three weeks later, Janet accidentally fell down the stairs from slipping on water she spilled. The fall caused Janet to lose the baby through miscarriage. Janet is extremely shocked by this and succumbed to depression. Her husband Mark (Brody) is a business man who is always away from home. Mark did little to comfort Janet especially because he secretly didn’t want to have a baby. Janet stays at home all the time with frequent visits from her friend Emee (Cross), a drug addict who has a 4-year old daughter named Lizzie in her arms all time. Emee tried to comfort her friend through constant visits. Emee cooks for her and lets Janet take care of Lizzie sometimes especially because Janet adores the child.

However, Emee’s help doesn’t comfort Janet still so she goes to a psychiatrist (Aghdashoo) who tries to help her cope with the loss. Dr. Jeanette tries to talk to her but Janet is just frustrated that she’s trying to erase memories of the baby. Eventually, Janet leaves her office after only one session because she couldn’t handle not blaming herself for what she knows is her fault. In time, Janet turns to alcohol for comfort. While babysitting Emee’s daughter, she got drunk from too much wine. Without realizing it, she fell asleep and when she woke up hours later, the child got out of the house but the neighbors found her. However, this event led to Emee and Janet’s friendship’s termination. Janet sank into further depression after a rampage through her china cabinet. The next day while Janet was doing her husband’s laundry, his cell phone rang. Janet saw the name of the caller, Clarisse, and answered the phone without saying hello. Clarisse started talking explicitly. Janet drops the phone as tears start to flow from her eyes. Mark’s long business trips were in fact a cover for him cheating on Janet with a Vegas stripper (Portman). When she finds this out, Janet confronted Mark about this. Mark, at first denies this, but later admits that he never wanted a baby in the beginning and that Janet doesn’t satisfy his needs anymore ever since they got married. Janet asks him why he didn’t come to her and why he had to lie to her. Mark didn’t want to hear anything from her no more so he kicked her out of their house. Homeless and depressed, Janet goes mentally insane and sleeps on the street. Her neighbor found her and she instituted her in a mental hospital.

There, she meets Heather (Metcalf) who suffocated her child after her career as a businesswoman ended abruptly and suffered a mental breakdown. Heather also suffered from psychosis. Janet met her after seeing her insulin shock therapy. While Janet was eating lunch with another patient, they start conversing about the other patients in the hospital. Janet then asked about Heather. The patient tells her about how Heather killed the child. Shocked by the revelation but feeling sympathy for Heather, Janet befriended Heather. Through Heather, Janet recovered much of her old happiness while Heather started to forgive herself for killing her child. Janet learned to fix herself and let go of her depression. In the process, she met Tom, a patient recovering from the trauma of his mother’s death, (Law) to whom she fell in love with. At the end of her two months in the hospital, Janet finally leaves the hospital to begin her new life but promised to visit Heather in the hospital and go on a date with Tom once he gets out too.

One year after leaving the hospital, Janet is in the midst of finishing her book entitled “The Lost One”. Through a short narration Janet read from her book, it is revealed that Janet filed for divorce from Mark and sought ownership of their house in court which was granted to Janet. Tom got out of the hospital 3 weeks after Janet and started a relationship with her. Janet and Emee are friends again and they visit Heather at the hospital once a week. Finally, Janet reveals that she is 5 months pregnant.

What the Press would say:

Todd Field’s new movie The Lost One is a look into depression after a miscarriage. The movie is about a mother losing her child after an accident and the process she goes through to recover her mind after a terrible depression. The somber mood of the movie comes from the amazing script by newcomer Rebecca Torres. Torres’s dramatic hand produced heartfelt scenes and tear-jerking dialogue that you can’t help but keep on watching the film. Field’s direction is top notch in order to produce very good acting from its cast. The direction also contributed to the further depth of the material. Watch out because this movie is a Best Picture contender.

However, the whole movie’s successful realization is due almost entirely to Toni Collette’s amazingly convincing performance as a depressed-turned-insane mother who lost her child and whose life is slipping away slowly. Her mesmerizing portrayal of a lost woman is probably the best acting performance of the year. The emotional display and the intense charisma of Collette’s character is the best acting achievement of the decade. There will be no justice in the world if Collette’s performance is not nominated for an Oscar.

If Collette’s performance didn’t amaze you enough, Laurie Metcalf’s performance as the insane mother coping with her own loss will surely thrill you enough to leave the room crying. Her character also helps brighten the screen with some laughs but also receives a lot of sympathy for her insanity. Brody and Law delivered strong performances that help makes the story compelling and heartwarming. Brody’s performance as a cheating husband is one that is most unlikable. However, Brody’s performance made it possible to have sympathy for such a messed up person and made audiences forgiving for his flaws. Law’s charming performance is unforgettable, despite the small screen time, but nevertheless is brilliant. Marcia Cross, known for her Desperate Housewives role, completely let go of her “Bree Hodge complex” and turns into another character with a real smile filled with imperfections on the outside. Cross is not recognizable as the Housewives character and that is completely stunning.

The movie is laced with piano-driven original score by Dario Marianelli. The cinematography is an achievement that other critics ought to recognize.


Best Picture
Best Director: Todd Field
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Toni Collette
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf
Best Supporting Actress: Marcia Cross
Best Supporting Actor: Adrien Brody
Best Original Screenplay: Rebecca Torres
Best Original Score: Dario Marianelli
Best Cinematography: Seamus McGarve

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