[Film Review] Grassland

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John ( Jack Reynolds)  lives with his mother in Dublin in sub standard housing development trying to make ends meet as a late night taxi driver. When he comes home one to many times to his mother passed out covered in vomit. His mother Jean ( Toni Colette) is an alcoholic and John supports her. Eventually John has enough of picking up the pieces and forces his Mum into a rehab facility.

With his meagre wages not enough to cover the expensive cost of the facility that will save his mother’s life John must make the decision that could potentially change his life forever.

Whist on the surface the story moves quite slowly, as it begins to unravel details of the tragic events that have led to Jean’s alcoholism begin to surface  the need to save her life becomes apparent.  What her son is willing to do for her to save her life is nothing short of heroic.  The question is that can Jack save his mother’s life and repair his broken family so that they can get back on track and rediscover themselves or is it is too late for the broken Jean to be saved?

When Toni Colette takes on these indie roles it gives her a chance to really show her capacity as an actress. In the larger Hollywood movies Colette can get a little lost but in these smaller movies she is really given a chance to shine. With Jack Reynolds supporting her in the role the two  actors are able to interact with each other, but with the close up camera angles and slow story line there is no room for flawed acting. Thankfully all involved give excellent performances.

As the movie progresses towards the closing act and the final tragic events are shockingly played out the viewer can not help but feel a certain amount of pathos for all involved. It is a tragic and realistic tale that could ring true to any family faced with alcohol addiction.  It is a story that will stay with you long after the final credits roll.

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