Hereafter

Frenchwoman (Cecile de France) has a walk-into-the-light experience after nearly drowning and wants to understand what happened. American psychic (Matt Damon – who else?) is sick of seeing dead people whenever he touches their relatives’ hands, and wants a normal life. Young British boy’s twin dies suddenly and he wants to make contact. How are their stories linked?

“Not very well” is the answer. The script (by the usually reliable Peter Morgan) is chock-full of fundamental errors. (In film-speak: there’s no clear protagonist; in fact there are effectively three, but they’re not given clear goals and character arcs. There are superfluous minor characters. There’s no jeopardy or ticking clock. It doesn’t know if it’s a romance, a redemption story or sci-fi. The dialogue is often clunky and on the nose.) Director Clint Eastwood makes a watchable film, but an hour in you’re still waiting for it to start, and by the end you’ll be more puzzled than satisfied. 6/10

Released February 10, 2011.

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