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Hereafter

6/10

Stars: Matt Damon, CÚcile de France, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Thierry Neuvic, Frankie McLaren, George McLaren, Jenifer Lewis, Niamh Cusack, George Costigan, Marthe Keller, Derek Jacobi, Charlie Creed-Miles, Lyndsey Marshal

Director: Clint Eastwood

A gentle film from Clint Eastwood, relating three stories connected with the hereafter, and dovetailing them a trifle uneasily in the last reel. The films opens spectacularly with a very realistic tsunami, which almost claims the life of French TV anchor Marie (de France) on holiday with her TV producer boyfriend (Neuvic). She has split-second visions of life after death.

In America, psychic George Lonergan (Damon), who sees (briefly) and hears dead people, puts the bereaved in touch with departed relatives. Depressed by his 'profession', he resorts to manual labour, and a cookery course where he meets Melanie (a striking performance by Howard).

In London, twins Marcus and Jason, beset with a junkie, alcoholic mother (Marshal), are parted when Jason, fleeing from teenage hoodlums (who, in real life, he would surely have avoided) is killed by a van. Each, in his or her way, is haunted by the past and, naturally, their paths are destined to cross.

Not always interesting, the film jogs along, and is nicely performed on the whole (especially by de France), although the twin English boys playing Jason and Marcus (they share each role) aren't terribly good. As usual, Eastwood composed the music for the movie. and it's one of his best scores.

David Quinlan

USA/UK/France 2010. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
129 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Jan 2011