If we take into account the vastness of the catalog of Netflix, it is very feasible that certain productions go unnoticed on the streaming platform. In this case, We take a tour of three feature films that do not skimp on tragic components and that, despite their differences, have a common denominator: they all talk about second chances with a taciturn tone and great works of its protagonists.
When one gets ready to see Stormy nights You can be sure of two things. On the one hand, since it is a feature film based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks (Journal of a Passion, Dear John, In the Name of Love), the romance of the leading couple will not be exempt from turbulence and tearful moments. On the other, a certainty that emerges a priori of the viewing is the undoubted chemistry of its protagonists, Diane Lane and Richard Gere. Recall that the actors worked together for the first time in Cotton Club, in 1984, and they met again in 2002 for Adrian Lyne’s erotic thriller Infidelity, for which the actress received an Oscar nomination. six years later, the duo came together for this romantic drama by George C. Wolfe in which the fortuitous meeting between two individuals with broken lives is shown who help each other to move forward and heal old wounds.
The film is set in the town of Rodanthe, North Carolina, more precisely in a beachfront hotel where Adrianne Willis (Lane) goes at the request of the owner of the place, her best friend Jean (Violet Davis), who needs to receive a guest who is going to enter soon. The protagonist, overwhelmed by a divorce process that is notably affecting her children, decides that this request is an opportunity to stay away from the madding crowd in that idyllic place. When said guest arrives, the doctor Paul Flanner (Gere), he is reluctant to establish a dialogue with Adrienne and the film shows his letters with flashbacks in which we witness how the death of a patient affected him so much that he left his career and became sparing with those around him.
As the days go by, Adrienne and Paul begin to talk about their fears and concerns, and it doesn’t take long for an attraction to develop. Nevertheless, the past of that man and his desire to act because of a guilt that he drags on his shoulders will condition that romance in the worst of ways.
Adapt the masterful novel the painted veil by W. Somerset Maugham is not an easy task (it had already been transferred to the cinema in 1934 and 1957), and in this case who took the baton was Ron Nyswaner, nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of the film by Jonathan Demme, Philadelphia, who did a great job on the John Curran production. Set in 1920, The other side of the world focuses on the marriage between Walter Fane (Edward Norton), a bacteriologist who is dedicated to his work, and Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts), a woman from high society who marries Walter for the wrong reasons. The union flounders from the beginning, not only because Kitty is not in love with her husband but also because she falls in love with Charles Townsend. (Liev Schreiber), a married politician with whom he maintains an extramarital relationship that Walter soon discovers.
Although she asks for a divorce, when she realizes that Charles will not leave his wife, she accepts Walter’s proposal of divorce. travel to a rural Chinese town where a cholera epidemic breaks out. The two-week trip irritates Kitty because it confronts her with her capricious nature, how she always lived in a bubble in the British elite, and how she failed to see all her husband’s qualities in time. The experience of helping the other transforms that woman, who is not limited to just being Walter’s assistant but is involved in what happens to the inhabitants of that place.
In a way, The other side of the world (whose original title alludes precisely to that impossibility of seeing reality when something clouds perception) It is a movie coming of age about Kitty and, at the same time, it is the story of a couple who enjoy their relationship for the first time in an adverse scenario that will take its toll on both of them.
Stephanie Laing’s film with a script by Bess Wohl presents us, from the beginning, with its sad premise. That great actress that is Gugu Mbatha Raw (Black Mirror: Saint Juniper; Loki) luminously plays Abbie, a woman who, in the prime of her life, is diagnosed with cancer. When she notices that the outlook is not encouraging and that the treatments do not improve her health, she intends to enjoy the time she has and that is where her best friend since she was little enters the scene, who later becomes her partner and fiancé, Sam. (Michiel Huesman). With a voiceover narration by Abbie, we are shown the beginning of that relationship as genuine as it is charming, with flashbacks of the characters in their youth.
And no one but you have a approach unquestionably indie, with a script without fanfare or big revelations. In this case, the key is not whether the protagonist will survive or not, but how she decides to spend the last moments of her life, either establishing a close friendship with the character played by Christopher Walken or planning the future of Sam, looking for the perfect candidate for her husband when she is gone. While that subplot is approached with a touch of black humor that doesn’t quite work, the film finds its best moments when it reveals the deep bond that unites the protagonists. Special mention for supporting interventions by Brian Tyree Henry, Jackie Weaver, Steve Coogan and Kate McKinnon.