Jean-Marc Vallée (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Jake Gyllenhaal is brave or foolhardy to take on the role of Davis Mitchell, an investment banker who earns no sympathy because of an emotionally stunted reaction to the death of his wife. As the grieving father-in-law, Chris Cooper is rightly outraged by Davis's odd behaviour, which includes fixating on Naomi Watts as the customer-service agent he writes to with a complaint about a broken vending machine. The letters are intended to be an outlet for the feelings that David can't otherwise express, but they simply don't ring true and neither does his impulse to take things apart "to see how they work" (including a refrigerator and a toilet door). Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) loses the character in a jumble of quirks and later, is thrown further off-track by the volatile friendship that evolves between Davis and Watts's rebellious son (Judah Lewis) whose issues warrant a separate film. Davis bangs on about honesty, but his words and unlikely actions just don't hang together.


Premiere. A successful investment banker is left devastated by the death of his wife. A complaint to a vending machine company sets him off on a letter-writing campaign in which he makes a series of brutally honest personal admissions, providing him with the chance to make a fresh start in his life - as soon as he has finished destroying everything that used to matter to him. Drama, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper.

Cast & Crew

Davis Mitchell Jake Gyllenhaal
Karen Moreno Naomi Watts
Phil Chris Cooper
Margot Polly Draper
Chris Judah Lewis
Carl C J Wilson
Director Jean-Marc Vallée
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Violence, swearing, sexual references.Released on: 29 Apr 2016