© Tobis Film GmbH & Co. KG

An Deiner Schulter (The Upside of Anger)
U.S.A./Germany/U.K. 2005

Opening 7 Jul 2005

Directed by: Mike Binder
Writing credits: Mike Binder
Principal actors: Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell

TOBIS Film presents Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erica Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt in a passionate family drama directed by Mike Binder.

Terry Wolfmeyer (Allen) is unrecognisable. From being a loving, kind, dependable wife and mother of four daughters, she has allowed anger, frustration and alcohol into her life; and she has a reason: her husband appears to have disappeared to Sweden with his young secretary, breaking all contact with family, friends and co-workers. Fear fuels Terry's anger: fear for how she's going to cope; fear for her daughters Andy, Lavender, Emily and Hadley making the wrong choices at this crucial moment in their lives; fear of losing control and seeing her well-ordered life falling apart; fear towards a new relationship with a man, Denny (Kostner), an old family acquaintance and former baseball star. We see Terry making mistakes in these relationships. Yet her beliefs, though often misguided, are so passionate that we can sympathise and understand her; even though, in virtually all the cases, the fears expressed with anger are unfounded.

The Upside of Anger is a challenge. For the filmmakers it could have gone either way, but Joan Allen (who not surprisingly has been nominated for three Academy Awards) is excellent in the main role and well supported by Kostner (his best film in a very long time) and the four young ladies who play the daughters. The subject is a difficult one and leaves the viewer with some unanswered questions: Was the anger really justified? Was it healthy to express her anger or did it blind her to seeing something beyond? Was her former life a dream where frustration was given no place? Some interesting conversations could arise after such a movie. (Osanna Vaughn)

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