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21 Grams - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

ONE of the films of this year's London Film Festival could well prove to be 21 Grams, the star-studded follow-up movie from Amores Perros director, Alejandro González Iñárritu.

The much-anticipated second film from the Mexican director will play at the festival on October 31 and November 1, at the Odeon West End, and has already gone down a storm at the Venice Film Festival, where it won Sean Penn the best actor award.

It co-stars Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro and encapsulates many of the same themes that made Amores Peros so powerful, such as life, death, guilt, redemption – and paints them large.

21 Grams alludes to the amount of weight supposedly lost by each person at the time of death, which some believe is a consequence of the soul leaving the body.

This link between the spiritual and the physical is the driving force in this powerful story of three intersecting lives, which was written by Amores Perros screenwriter, Guillermo Arriaga.

A tragic incident sparks the tinder, bringing together a terminally ill mathematics professor (Penn), a single mother battling her grief and addictions (Watts), and an ex-con in search of redemption (Del Toro).

The London Film Festival describes the movie as 'technically exhilarating', noting that it is 'shot with an immediacy and rawness that grips from the opening frames'.

It also notes that it is structurally complex, moving boldly backwards and forwards through time, and jumping between narratives and trusting the audience to keep up.

"Remarkably, the film has as much substance as it has style, its devastating emotional charge carried by the three extraordinary central performances.

"Adventurous, uncompromising film-making, demanding viewing, and destined to be one of the most talked about films of the Festival," it adds.

Better yet is the view of Hollywood Reporter, which stated that 21 Grams 'knocks you out with an astonishing blend of hyper-realism, visual complexity and powerful themes'.

The film isn't due for a US release until November, so the London screenings are a treat to be savoured.

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