THIRD PERSON, the new movie from Paul Haggis (shown below, whose work I have warmed up to but slowly), proves a surprise in so many ways. It is also one of the most creative and daring films I've seen in a long while in terms of how it toys with the viewer, at times making you wonder if there was any continuity person involved in the shoot. Don't worry: There was. There was also a very smart writer/director at work here, devoting himself to a subject dear to my own heart: how the creative process works, with particular attention to the link between creativity and the loss of a loved one, especially where writers are concerned.
Mr. Haggis has concocted some wildly emotional scenes -- sometimes funny, sometimes not -- in each of these stories, and he and the editor with whom he often works (Jo Francis) have done a bang-up job of threading them and the stories together so that we always and quickly know where we are and with whom.
Liam Neeson, is involved with a younger writer and muse (Olivia Wilde).
Mila Kunis, above) and her painter husband (James Franco, below) are fighting over custody of their son in New York City.
Adrian Brody, below) who finds himself involved in the attempt of an Eastern European immigrant woman (Moran Atias, shown at bottom) to get her young son safely into Italy.
Maria Bello (above, rather wasted in too small a role, though her last moment is oddly indelible), Kim Basinger (below, quite wonderful), Loan Chabanol (as Franco's new squeeze) and Italian hottie Ricardo Scarmarcio, as the nastiest bartender in Rome.
Sony Pictures Classics, opens this Friday, June 20, in New York City at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, the AMC Lincoln Square, and City Cinemas 1,2,3, and in the Los Angeles area at The Landmark in West L.A. and the Arclight Hollywood. In the weeks to come it will receive a large-but-still-limited nationwide release in cities all across the country. Click here and then scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates.