"First-Rate Cast Stuck with Third-Rate Script"
THIRD PERSON is an impossibly odd, confusing attempt to weave together three stories of people dealing with the loss of young children in different ways. The plot to THIRD PERSON is sometimes confusing and preposterous and contains plenty of strong foul language, some strong lewd content and explicit, gratuitous nudity, with only light moral, redemptive content.
THIRD PERSON is an impossibly odd, confusing and seemingly pointless attempt to weave together three stories of people dealing with the loss of young children in different ways. THIRD PERSON has a strong Romantic worldview offset somewhat by brief moments with a moral, redemptive sensibility.
The movie follows three interwoven stories. However, it focuses foremost on Michael (Liam Neeson), a Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author living in a Paris hotel suite while finishing his latest book. After leaving his wife Elaine (Kim Basinger), he’s is having a wild affair with Anna (Olivia Wilde), a young journalist who wants to write and publish fiction.
Meanwhile, Scott (Adrian Brody) is a shady American businessman visiting Italy in order to steal designs from fashion houses. He meets a mysterious woman named Monika (Moran Atias) in a bar. He finds out she is about to be reunited with her young daughter until the money she has saved to pay a smuggler to bring her to Italy is stolen. Scott feels compelled to help her and travels to Southern Italy with her, only to find that he might be getting conned by her and others.
The third story follows Julia (Mila Kunis), a former soap opera actress caught in a custody battle for her 6-year-old son with her husband Rick (James Franco), a New York artist. Depleted of funds and desperate for a job, she becomes a hotel maid in the same bar she once stayed in as a star, while her lawyer tries to get her one last chance to win her child back.
These three stories may each sound interesting, and writer-director Haggis has proven able to weave multiple stories together in the past with his Best Picture-winning CRASH, but here he fails miserably. As the movie develops, the movie’s settings and plot become ever more confusing, as it appears that characters who are said to be in different cities are in fact in the same ones. Also, many of the characters sometimes enter and exit each other’s lives through extremely preposterous connections.
At the end of the screening, MOVIEGUIDE®’s reviewer asked the entire room filled with critics if anyone had any idea what the plot was trying to say by the end. The result was explosive laughter and shared confusion. Another terrible aspect of the movie is its score, which is overwrought with treacly, repetitive piano playing.
It’s all a shame that a fine cast is wasted, as each of them gives their all to their parts in this mess. Place the blame on writer-director Paul Haggis.
THIRD PERSON also contains strong lewd content, foul language and explicit nudity to go along with its Non-Christian worldview. This objectionable content is only slightly offset by brief moral, redemptive elements.
(RoRo, B, C, LLL, V, SS, NN, A, MM) Strong, confusing, rather pointless Romantic worldview offset somewhat by a moral, redemptive element of forgiveness; at least 49 obscenities and profanities, including many “f” words; two light, but distressing, scenes of violence where hotel maid smashes a lot flower-filled vases when she becomes enraged in a hotel room, and same woman is later dragged down a hallway while screaming for her child, whom her ex-husband is keeping away from her, and the child sees her distress; two depicted adultery scenes, and mistress shows up at lover’s hotel room wearing only a robe and has to run back to her own room in the nude, plus a plot development involving incest includes a disturbing hug and the start of a kiss; upper and rear female nudity in one scene plus woman in bra and female cleavage in other scenes; casual alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, man is on a mission to steal fashion designs, sad plot threads about the loss of a child through tragic means that are discussed but not shown, lying, and woman leads man to believe her daughter has been kidnapped, nut she’s really deceiving him about it.
THIRD PERSON is an impossibly odd, confusing attempt to weave together three stories of people dealing with the loss of young children in different ways. In one story, a prize-winning fiction author, estranged from his wife, lives in a Paris hotel suite while finishing his latest book and has a torrid affair with a young journalist. In another story, a shady American businessman takes pity on a woman who supposedly lost the money she needs to smuggle her daughter into Italy, but he’s being conned. In the final story, a former soap opera actress turned hotel maid is caught in a custody battle with her husband for their 6-year-old son.
These three stories may each sound interesting, but the filmmakers fail miserably to bring them to life. As the movie develops, the settings and plot become ever more confusing and even preposterous. THIRD PERSON also contains strong lewd content, foul language, and explicit nudity to go along with its Non-Christian, Romantic worldview. This objectionable content is only slightly offset by brief moral, redemptive elements. Extreme caution is advised for THIRD PERSON.