As a returning veteran wounded in Afghanistan, Lawrence gets the chance to once again turn the volume down and deliver a low-key performance without any hint of some of the more flashy roles she has landed since receiving her first Oscar nomination in the 2010s. years. Winter bone. It’s great to see this hugely talented star drop a few notches and throw herself into an understated portrayal of a woman who suffers not only the effects of physical wounds, but unseen internal wounds that have had devastating consequences. on her ability to live a normal life.
Lawrence plays Lynsey, who was working with the US Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan and sustained body and brain injuries when the car she was traveling in was hit by explosives. After a period of intensive rehabilitation, she returns home to New Orleans (presented in a different light than in countless films), where she returns to her mother (Linda Emond), a loving but highly complex individual who does not help the cause. with a daughter in need of a change of direction in a life devastated by war experiences.
Taking her first steps towards life, but really wanting to get well enough to go on another tour, she takes a job as a pool cleaner, much to her mother’s dismay. It’s something simple enough that she can handle it, or at least believes it, but when her truck breaks down, she takes it to a car dealership where she meets a mechanic named James (Brian Tyree Henry), with whom she somehow forges an unlikely friendship in which both reach awkward levels after becoming casual new friends, both explore possibilities beyond him in their own way. Their connection, it turns out, lies in a shared physical and psychological recovery process from a life-changing accident, in James’ case involving a car, the death of his nephew, and the loss of a leg. In a poignant and beautifully understated scene, the details of his own injury are revealed as they sit by the pool she takes care of. The fragile connection of two very fragile people, longing for some kind of human connection, but almost unable to let go of themselves, breaks the heart. Both are at the crossroads of needing to love again, or even for the first time, but are not convinced that this is what they deserve or even desire at this point in their lives.
The screenplay is written by writer Ottessa Moschfegh, Luke Goebel and Elisabeth Sanders, with careful, unstylized guidance from the first feature film director Leela Neugebauer. dam Ultimately, this is a small human story (it’s only 92 minutes long) about a life sentence of trauma, its real-time aftermath, but, more poignantly, its irreversible impact on the lives of two people, still suffering but looking at each other. to help get on the other side. This is truly a gem of character exploration, a quiet exploration of two traumatized people played by a pair of exceptional actors who never let us see them. active. Lawrence may have waited a few years before re-emerging in a full-blooded lead role, but it’s a role that confirms the fact that he’s an extraordinary person who can tell us everything about a person without going into too much detail. speaking us nothing at all. It’s all there in the eyes. Henry here is just as good as her, once again showing that he is one of the best actors, able to steal a stupid movie like the current one. High-speed train, and just as capable of capturing the soul of a man who is afraid to face his past, but who hopes that there may be something more.
The film is owned by Lawrence and Henry, but there is good, if limited, support from Emond who is always reliable, Jane Hoodishell in an early scene helping rehabilitate Lynsey, and Stephen McKinley Henderson as her doctor, among others who appear here. and there. Cinematography by Diego Garcia and production design by Jack Fisk perfectly complement the atmosphere of this effective and touching tender drama.
Produced by Lawrence and Justine Ciarrocchi. This is a collaboration between Apple Original Films and A24. It will open in select theaters and begin streaming on Apple TV+ on November 4th.