Review: The High Cost of Living

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298430_254760704574669_285061801_nTitle: The High Cost of Living
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Deborah Chow
Starring: Zach Braff, Isabelle Blais
Runtime: 1 hr 32 mins

What It Is? Nathalie (Blais) is a young pregnant woman in Montreal excited for the birth of her baby which is due soon. On one faithful night she is going out for a walk. Simultaneously drug dealer Henry (Braff) is driving distracted. When suddenly Nathalie is struck by Henry’s car. This accident causes Nathalie’s unborn child into a stillborn state. Henry however left the scene of the crime, because of his state of drunkiness. As her life is falling apart Nathalie runs into Henry who is searching for his victim. They form a bond. Little does Nathalie know that this new friend of hers is the one that turned her life on it’s head in the first place. All the while the fuzz is closing in on Henry for the dirty deeds that he has done.

What We Think? Though it is wonderfully shot, and it’s cinematography beautiful THCOL suffers from problem in substance, rather then style. The script lags, and never really grips you as it should, and while Blais is intriguing as Nathalie, her character often comes off as nieve, and somewhat too trusting. And while the materials subject manner is by no means unrealistic I think it suffers from being too close to harsh reality. Often times you don’t like Henry nor do you have any sort of desire too. Never is there a moment when you can truly feel happy while watching this film. It’s as depressing a cinematic endeavor as can be seen either independently or in wide release. However low the film might make you feel emotionally, your eyes will be pleased however with the shots director Chow chose, and they’ll be fond of the movies use of Montreal as a visual palette.

Our Grade: C, However imperfect the material may in fact be,  a combination of Braff’s charm, and Blais’ chemistry make a depressing subject matter, and less then happy script a somewhat enjoyable watch. If not for Chow’s cunning direction, and the aforementioned performances by the lead actors this is an indie that could’ve fallen flat on it’s face. Instead we get a pseudo-heart wrenching yet ultimately flawed story of tragedy.

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