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Third Person -- a sorry tale often repeated and un-resolvable

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Third Person


I GOT it, but I can't tell 'cause that would ruin it. I would think everyone who saw the film would get it, but it seems some reviewers didn't. I'm sure a friend will tell them ... eventually. Just know as you want 'Third Person' there is something to get. And I noticed in the trailer, it's given away in a nanosecond shot. Albeit to say, three stories couldn't be more related than these.

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A recently separated (from wife Kim Basinger) writer (Liam Neeson) rents a hotel room in Paris to concentrate on his next novel, but is interrupted by his needy, neurotic lover (Olivia Wilde). A clothing design thief (Darien Brody) in Rome meets a Gypsy woman (Moran Atias) and tries to help her get her daughter back from a cutthroat smuggler. A divorced woman (Mila Kunis) desperately tries to get her chaotic life in order so she can resume visitation rights to her son from her artist husband (James Franco). All three protagonists have split from their partner, each has a child. They are trying to find redemption, trying to regain trust, and continue to lie for convenience sake or even survival. But these facts are only the trappings of what they all have in common.

The title of the film may be referring to the child in each of these group's lives, or the new partner (for Liam, Adrien, and James' characters) they have found, or Third Person perspective as in first person (I), Second Person (you), Third Person (he, she, it) as a perspective in literature. All the characters in this film have been damaged and are struggling to find their way. They are compelling empathetic, moving. Performances by all the actors are convincing. Especially surprising and moving was Mila Kunis as the frenetic, irresponsible ex-soap star, now maid, unable to find the track, let alone get on it. All the characters have painful secrets; her's was the most difficult to admit to herself and heal from.

I would eagerly watch 'Third Person' and second and even third time just to unravel any connections and probe nuances I may have missed on first viewing.

Third Person
Director / Writer: Paul Haggis
Cast: Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Maria Bello, Moran Atias, Kim Basinger
Time: 137 min.
Rating: R
Opening June 27 at the AMC Metreon and Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco, as well as theaters in Berkeley, Pleasant Hill, Palo Alto and San Jose


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