Here's a handy tip for aspiring screenwriters: Combine three or four half-baked story ideas into a single script to make everything seem more deep and profound than it really is. Writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) follows the example of critical darlings like Crash and Babel by combining the mostly-parallel narratives of a San Francisco psychic (Matt Damon) trying to lead a normal life, a French TV journalist (Cécile de France) dealing with a near-death experience and a London schoolboy (Frankie & George McLaren) grieving the death of his twin brother.
Director Clint Eastwood grabs the audience with the natural disaster that changes Marie's life — a CGI-manufactured set piece that provides a surprising visceral punch-as well as with the events that leave young Jason dead.
That would have been frustrating enough — and then Hereafter yanks these three people's lives into closer proximity in a way that demands a superlative form of the word "contrived." The fact that they have a chance to look one another in the eye does nothing to make them — or the previous 100 minutes of filmmaking — more interesting. But, hey, isn't it inherently fascinating how interconnected we all are? Grade: C
Opens Oct 22. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.