2014 Running time: 96 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
A-Long-Way-Down-KA

Synopsis

Four would-be suicides - Pierce Brosnan's disgraced TV presenter, Imogen Poots' man-hating flake, Toni Collette's despairing carer and Aaron Paul's cancer sufferer - head to the top floor of a London tower block with the intention ending it all. But, after making introductions and observing the unlikelihood of their predicament, they decide to keep in touch. Acting as a sort of emotional support group, they bond... but will it be enough to banish their lethal thoughts? Based on the Nick Hornby novel, this is a light-hearted look at life... and the possibility of death.

Director

  • Pascal Chaumeil

Cast

  • Pierce Brosnan

  • Toni Collette

  • Imogen Poots

  • Aaron Paul

  • Rosamund Pike

  • Sam Neill

  • Tuppence Middleton

Review

The one conviction the four very different protagonists of this sideways look at suicide share is that life isn't worth living.

Martin Sharp (Brosnan) is a fallen breakfast TV star (is there any other?) whose celebrity world and cherished marriage come crashing down when he misjudges the age of a groupie...and winds up in jail.

Jess (Poots), the daughter of an emotionally-detached MP (Neill), endures boy trouble so desperate she wants to end it all while Toni Collette is at the end of her tether with the responsibility of looking after her severely disabled son.

Finally, American pizza delivery boy JJ (Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul) has decided to do himself in after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

But, as if things aren't bad enough, all four decide to do the dirty deed on the same New Year's Eve (apparently a popular choice) from the same London tower block.

After awkwardly explaining their grim predicaments, the death wish quartet rule out their immediate plans and sign a pact to meet again in the same place on Valentine's Day - apparently another popular choice.

You have to admire novelist Nick Hornby for his bad taste premise and there's lots of comedy mileage to be extracted from a - surprise, surprise - gallows humour as one of life's greatest taboos is made sport.

Brosnan's accent's natural home appears to be Old Kent Road while the role of dowdy no-hoper isn't the one you'd naturally associate with Collette, usual happier in feistier parts.

Still, Poots can do good grunge even if her slacker tics get ever more slappable and Paul - now off the crystal meth on TV - makes a decent fist of probably the most complex character.

Although dealing with a heavy themes it's pretty lightweight stuff but survives on a sort of, erm, never say die charm.

Tim Evans

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