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21 Grams
(uncountable stars for its stars)
Starring: Naomi Watts, Benicio del Toro and Sean Penn
Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Rated: R

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Bluntly Speaking? 21 Grams is drama as it should be! The film's only snag is all its god fearing stuffamagal. But, the performances are powerful and positively riveting.

Benicio del Toro likes to take chances with his career...morph, test, fail and succeed...here he's hit gold. Sean Penn, as always, morphs into his character's skin. But it's the boys' female cohort that truly steals this show. Naomi Watts proves she's no flash in the good-script-choice-lucky-casting pan. She is electric.

The story goes…professor Paul Rivers (Sean Penn) is ill. His wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) wants to make sure she keeps a little something of him after the funeral - a baby.

Paul's not real gung ho about the whole little human addition to the world idea. See, his heart's fading - fast, and he's a tad uncomfortable with the thought. Especially since he's kind of over the wife altogether...

When his name pops up on the "list" for a donor heart all sorts of tales start to merge.

We are introduced to Jack Jordan (Benicio del Toro). Jack's trying real hard to keep on the right track. Reality of his shady past - which includes prison terms - keeps biting him in the ass. He's embraced the lord and has become addicted to the belief in faith. His soul is still tortured. But he's trying.

Then there's the last piece of our puzzle, housewife Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts). She has a pristine life. But we get the idea - instantly - she didn't always drive the SUV and sit calmly at the PTA functions. Her past is a mix of drugs and fixes but people change…

When a horrible accident claims her family's lives the three tales are irrevocably entangled and the result is stomach churning drama the screen has not seen for a while. In lesser hands this often god-pushing script would have been mediocre at best. Lucky for us the talent explodes from the frames like cinematic dynamite!

Benicio is a treasure. What's he six-foot four of pure seasoned mansteak marinated in a blend of manly yum? I adore this scrumptious piñata of manly bits…aside from the fact I'd give a bit of my own soul for a sinful night of tequila and bearskin rugs for the guy…he's got immense and intense talents. This is an incredibility vulnerable role. Hombre hermoso del bravo!

Sean Penn…it's getting boring to go on and on about his talents. I mean does he have a bad film? Oh yeah, that weird indie The Weight of Water…forgive. BUT for the most part he's platinum. Here he reminds you why.

Now here's the keeper of the light. Ms. Naomi Watts. This chickbabe squared stole the boyz' thunder…not an easy feat. It must be something in the water of Australia. Their imports expose soul on film, willingly and perfectly. Give this girl the accolades she deserves. Goodonya.

21 Grams is great. The god stuff being continually beaten into our little heathen minds is what kept if from getting the coveted four stars from me…the performances however? Four stars squared. This is a must for all thespian-snorting addicts!

Snack recommendation: Nonalcoholic beer.

 


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