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50/50

October 14, 2011

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favorite actors. The guy has range. Whether it be Brick, Inception, 500 Days of Summer or 50/50 you know the guy will bring something unique to the screen.

What makes this film work are the personal details that writer Will Reiser includes. This is not a film about big moments. It is about the small details that lead you through the chemotherapy, emotional stages and eventual surgery. Reiser survived cancer and that is why the film feels honest. The emotions are not hokey and the humor is injected at all the right moments.

50/50 revolves around a healthy 27-year-old man who is diagnosed with spinal cancer and given a %50 chance of surviving.

Helping him get through the highs and lows is  Seth Rogen. Rogen is loud in this film but not too loud. He provides a counter balance to Gordon-Levitt’s subdued character.  

Anna Kendrick is reliably nice as an out of her league psychiatrist. I’ve never not liked Kendrick. She is able to be naive and intelligent at the same time.

Rounding out the cast is Angelica Huston as the worrying mom and  Bryce Dallas Howard as his girlfriend/faux artist that will most certainly cheat on him later.

The only tiny issue I have with the film is that some of the scenes do not flow well into the other scenes. It has a bit of an episodic feel to it that jars but rarely hinders the flow.

Watch this movie. It handles cancer in a mature way yet is able to create a healthy dose of laughs.

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