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

  • LA Arts: Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Announces Its Inaugural Exhibitions

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, announced today Hayao Miyazaki followed by Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900–1970 will be the inaugural exhibitions on view when the Museum opens in late 2019. 

  • Le Cataclysme et La Souris

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Au lendemain du scrutin européen, si l'heure est à l'adaptation de l'Union aux attentes des citoyens, en France le temps ne semble pas être contraint, l'Elysée comptant même accélérer le train des réformes.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Post Presidency Legacy; 2015 Top Misses; Election 2016; Farkhunda Malikzada

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama began his two terms as America's first African American President, on a cold day in January 2009, reciting the oath of office to a record crowd swelling as both parties, paused and had the audacity to hope.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Welcomes Pope, Chinese President; EU Crisis; Boehner Resigns; WH Staffer Dies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama initiated a move against Syrian President Basher Al-Assad with a global directive within the members of his ISIS/ISIL coalition to bring about the deposition of dictatorial leader transferring power through political transition to an unannounced democratic team.

  • Victim from World Trade Center Terrorist Attack Identified through Forensic Anthropology, DNA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The remains of a victim from the 9/11 Terrorist  Attack has been identified sixteen years later through the forensic science and DNA bringing the total to those who died as a direct cause of the World Trade Center attacks to 2,753.

  • Beltway Insider: US, UK, Allies Unite Expel USSR Diplomats; Cold War Revisited; Kemerovo; Roseanne Reboot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Beginning one week ago, President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle in response to the use of military grade chemical weapons on British soil.

  • Beauty, Style: Tips to Keep Hair Beautiful During Winter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Not one of the four seasons offers a vacation from the obstacles of maintaining perfect hair, whether it’s too much ultraviolet light in summer, damp chills in spring, or blustery winds in fall or winter.

  • Cookoo Watches, Smart Wear for Your Wrist, Launches through Kickstarter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ConnecteDevice is excited to announce that the cookoo™ watch is launching on Kickstarter. The cookoo watch is wearable technology that extends your smartphone to your wrist. It’s a traditional timepiece with a high-tech twist to help you manage your connected life.

  • L’Ecole Serves Sunday Brunch For Charity

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    L’Ecole, the restaurant of The French Culinary Institute, recently extended an invitation to enjoy the classic French cuisine prepared under the supervision of internationally renowned master chefs.

  • The Wellesbourne Unveils New collection of Small Plates

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Wellesbourne, located on LA's westside, announces the launch of their new collection of sharable plates, elevated renditions of recognizable dishes with a Wellesbourne twist. Considered a "hidden gem" The Wellesbourne is also known for unique cocktails.

  • A United Kingdom Review - Beautiful, Four Stars, A Must See Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A United Kingdom, from Pathe and Fox Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen the true story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana and his wife, Ruth Williams, who together took a chance and changed a nation.

  • Money News: Nine Top World Markets, Including DOW, Close Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average along with the top nine world markets, the NASDAQ and S&P500 all had a strong week, gaining enough momentum, in the respectable index to end the week on a strong with the DOW climbing above the 17,000 point record set over one month ago.

  • Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers Cookbook Review - An Expansive Guide to Quick, Easy, Tasty Meals (Recipes)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers, the newest in the Robert Rose Best of Bridge series, introduces two new author/food experts and more than 175 easy, delicious and nutritious meals that even the busiest home cook can prepare.

  • L’ordre ou le Dialogue

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    La multiplication des violences policières interroge sur les missions originelles des forces de l’ordre sensées protéger les populations et assurer l’ordre républicain. Mais ce-dernier ne serait-il pas devenu une excuse à toutes les dérives dès lors légitimées. Explications.  

  • Beltway Insider: Trump Blasts Dems, Iran Attacks, Mex Deal, Sanders Exits, Boeing Setback, Amanda Knox

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump attacked former Vice-President and 2020 Democratic Presidential challenger this week with a barrage of denigrating remarks as the polls show Biden with a solid double-digit lead and a win if the election were held today.