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Blu-ray Review: Life Itself

December 18, 2018

By John Corrado

To say that Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself has been dividing audiences since it premiered at TIFF would be putting it mildly. I spoke to several people during the festival who loved this sprawling, multi-character drama that spans a couple of decades and unfolds in both America and Spain, while critics were quick to deem it one of the worst movies of the year, and possibly ever made.

I found myself smack dab in the middle. Yes, the film is grandiose and melodramatic to a fault. But it’s so over the top, sometimes to the point of ludicrousness, that I actually think it’s kind of worth seeing, if only for the best efforts of its strong ensemble cast, and I was admittedly touched by it at certain points. For more on the film itself, you can read my full review of it right here.

The Blu-ray includes two tabs under the bonus features section, one for interviews and the other for featurettes. The first tab plays a trio of back-to-back director and cast interviews done in Toronto; the first with Fogleman and Olivia Wilde, the second with Olivia Cooke and Mandy Patinkon, and the third with Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Laia Costa. The second tab plays the three short promotional featurettes The Cast of Life Itself, Life Itself: Writer/Director Dan Fogleman, and Life Itself: There’s No Greater Story one after another.

During the interviews, the cast heaps praise upon the film and Fogleman’s screenplay. Patinkon even refers to it as the best script he’s ever read, but it’s hard to tell if he is really being sincere, or if he is just giving a bullshit response and is enough of a great actor to make it sound believable. But now that Life Itself is available on Blu-ray, I would encourage any curious viewers to watch it for themselves and decide where they stand.

Life Itself is a VVS Films release. It’s 118 minutes and rated 14A.

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