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Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Film Review: Life Itself

Film Review: Life Itself

WDCB’s Gary Zidek reviews the new film LIFE ITSELF.

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Written and directed by Dan Fogelman, LIFE ITSELF is a multi-generational, time-spanning saga. The film stars Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, & Mandy Patinkin.

 Olivia Wilde and Oscar Isaac in LIFE ITSELF

Olivia Wilde and Oscar Isaac in LIFE ITSELF

LIFE ITSELF is essentially divided into two stories, connected by a single incident. The first chapter focuses on the relationship between college sweethearts, Will and Abby, played respectively by Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde. The second chapter is all about their daughter, Dylan, played by Olivia Cooke.

 Olivia Cook and Mandy Patinkin in LIFE ITSELF

Olivia Cook and Mandy Patinkin in LIFE ITSELF

In chapter 3, the story shifts to Spain. The audience is introduced to a new cast of characters including Mr. Saccione, a wealthy landowner played by Antonio Banderas. Mr. Saccione takes an interest in one of his workers, Javier (played by Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and his family. That attention creates some tension and ends up sparking an incident that brings the rest of the story together.

 Alex Monner and Antonio Banderas in LIFE ITSELF

Alex Monner and Antonio Banderas in LIFE ITSELF

I applaud Fogelman’s ability to develop characters and write funny dialogue, but the amount of tragedy in the film weighs it down. LIFE ITSELF is trying too hard to make audiences cry, and as a result loses some authenticity. It will be interesting to see how fans of Fogelman’s hit TV show THIS IS US react the movie. High praise for all the actors involved, especially Oscar Issac, he is exceptional. I am interested to see what Fogelman does next in the film world, I would love to see him take on something a little lighter.

I give LIFE ITSELF 2 out 4 stars **.

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LIFE ITSELF is playing at theaters everywhere.

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