A LONG WAY DOWN
Second Chances To Live
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Colette,
Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots,
Rosamund Pike, Sam Neill
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Executive Producer: Christoph Daniel, Nick Hornby,
Zygi Kamasa, Mark Schmidheiny,
Producer: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
Writer: Jack Thorne
Address Comments To:Bill Banowski, CEO, Magnolia Pictures (Magnet Releasing)
1614 West 5th St.
Austin, TX 78703
Eamon Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures (Magnet Releasing)
43 West 27th St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701; Fax: (212) 924-6742
Website: www.magpictures.com; Email: info@ magpictures.com
A LONG WAY DOWN follows the story of Martin (Pierce Brosnan), Maureen (Toni Collette), Jess (imogen Poots), and JJ (Aaron Paul). They meet by surprise on New Year’s Eve as each tries to jump off a London skyscraper to commit suicide. Martin is a TV morning show host who got busted for unwittingly having sex with an underage girl, went to prison for it and is now rightfully ashamed. Maureen is a struggling single mother who devotes every moment of every day to her severely disabled adult son. Jess is a drug-abusing party girl. Finally, JJ hides the source of his secret sadness, but having severe depression.
The four talk each other out of jumping and make a pact to keep each other alive and well for the next six weeks, at which point they will meet on the roof again and debate whether to jump off on Valentine’s Day. A series of unusual friendships begins, where the four people help each other improve their lives, but also navigate the travails of unexpected notoriety when paparazzi stalk them because of Martin’s TV fame.
A LONG WAY DOWN features a frequent but not overbearing amount of profanity, yet otherwise its depictions of sex, drug and alcohol use and abuse are handled with discretion while remaining key to the plot. The movie also has numerous positive elements, as it beautifully portrays the relationship between Maureen and her son, offering a stellar example of devoted parenting under the most stressful of circumstances.
The movie carries a strong spirit of Christian agape love, as the characters are there for each other through every imaginable circumstance. They try to help each other improve their lives and regain their will to live. Maureen’s storyline is particularly impressive because it involves a lifelong devotion to her beloved son. Her story leads to a short but strong scene where Maureen is seen lighting a prayer candle in a cathedral after walking past JJ while he’s deep in his own prayer. These are really good, often uplifting character arcs.
Adapted from a novel by Nick Hornby (ABOUT A BOY, HIGH FIDELITY), A LONG WAY DOWN has well-drawn characters who are easy to care about, and strong performances across the board. It continues the tradition of character-rooted dramedies, with positive messages about love and family, adapted from Hornby’s work. Sadly, A LONG WAY DOWN has a significant, unnecessary amount of gratuitous foul language and brief lewd content to go along with its mature themes. However, those who see it may find its more positive themes richly rewarding. That said, extreme caution is advised for A LONG WAY DOWN.
A LONG WAY DOWN has well-drawn characters who are likeable, and strong performances. As the four characters bond together, the movie develops surprising, morally uplifting themes. There’s even a brief but strong scene in a church where prayer is extolled. However, A LONG WAY DOWN has plenty of strong gratuitous foul language, mature themes, and some lewd content. So, extreme caution is warranted.