A reluctant psychic, a journalist and a boy chase the afterlife even when they want to run from it. Clint Eastwood directs Hereafter, a passionate exploration of life after death. Hereafter is now showing on local Comcast Xfinity stations in Movies On Demand.
George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is a former psychic in San Francisco who is fed up with death and has returned to the practical trade of dock worker. Marie Lelay (Cecile de France) is a vacationing French journalist who gets caught in a tsunami. Marcus is a London boy whose twin brother dies in a truck accident (Frankie and George McLaren play both roles).
Where do we go after death? In Hereafter, Eastwood brings all the richness and wisdom of his mature vision to explore who we really are.
Shot by shot and scene by scene, the characters are portrayed with integrity and respect. Fascination grows as each one searches: George for happiness, Marie for truth, and Marcus for a link to his lost brother Jason.
Marie has the most to lose. After drowning and being revived (her personal encounter with the tsunami an impeccable part of movie history) she is changed. Fame and fortune vanish as she takes time off from her national news program to write a book about Francois Mitterrand. But soon a new book topic chooses her. Thierry Neuvic plays her fickle lover Didier.
George has abandoned his popular psychic website. It hurt too much. He wants to focus on life now, not on death. He no longer gives readings, he insists. Still, a few desperate souls manage to find him, thanks to his brother Billy (Jay Mohr) who urges George to be true to his gift.
The image of Damon’s big, burly hands briefly clasping those who seek him out is beautiful. In a world of psychic quacks, George seems to be the real deal. What is refreshing is his perspective. He can “connect” with those who have passed away, but affirms the importance of living here and now.
George lies on his bed each night, the words of his favorite author Charles Dickens wafting over him from the radio. His sensitivity and insights are rare, and he knows it. Slowly, he realizes he must abandon blue collar work.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Melanie, George’s perky cooking classmate and love interest. The Sopranos’ Steve Schirripa is delightful as sensitive Italian chef and class instructor Carlo.
The McLarens are up-and-coming actors to watch as Marcus evokes the tragedy of losing his best friend and twin. He wants neither sympathy nor understanding as he delves into the meaning of his loss. Lyndsey Marshal plays the boys’ addict mother.
In a sweeping climax, the paths of George, Marie and Marcus intersect at a London book fair. Eastwood, firm and self-effacing, helms a big story. His classical treatment of a spiritual theme makes the film great.
Until ten years ago, Eastwood was best known as action hero Dirty Harry Callahan. He began directing in the acclaimed Charlie Parker biography Bird (1988). Eastwood has created a succession of deep, fascinating films including: the Western Unforgiven (1992) which won an Academy Award for Best Picture; A Perfect World (1993); The Bridges of Madison County (1995); Absolute Power (1997); Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), and True Crime (1999).
More recently Eastwood directed Space Cowboys (2000); Mystic River (2003), and Million Dollar Baby (2004), which won Best Picture as well both the Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Director.
If you like Hereafter, you might enjoy: Rabbit Hole; Up in the Air; Goodbye Solo.
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Hereafter 2010 / PG-13 / 2 hours, 9 minutes
Cast Overview: Cecile de France, Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard, George McLaren, Frankie McLaren, Lyndsey Marshal, Jay Mohr
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genres: Drama, Thriller, Fantasy