Life itself is a multi-chaptered film, with intertwining stories, characters and timelines, written and directed by Dan Fogelman, well known for the smash hit TV series This is us. We saw its London preview, with the presence of Dan and Olivia Cook.
Chapter 1 - "The Hero" - features Samuel L Jackson and introduces us to Will and Abby, and their love story (through flashbacks). Will (Oscar Isaac) is an emotionally unstable man who has been institutionalised for 6 months after his wife Abby (Olivia Wilde) left him. Now he has weekly sessions with a therapist played by Annette Bening.
Chapter 2 is about Dylan Dempster, daughter of Will and Abby, and granddaughter of Mandy Patinkin and Jean Smart. The adult Dylan is a fragile woman played by the great Olivia Cooke.
Chapter 3 takes us to Spain where we meet "The Gonzalez Family": Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), his wife Isabel (Laia Costa), and Javier's rich boss Saccione (Antonio Banderas).
Chapter 4 focuses on their son Rodrigo (Alex Monner). He goes to the University and becomes a strong man, but his mother becomes ill.
In the final Chapter 5 we meet Elena Dempsey-Gonzalez (Lorenza Izzo) and we will understand how all the stories narrated come together.
Everything what we do can affect people that we don’t know, people who live in the other part of the world. Because life is the most unreliable narrator.
Dan Fogelman has written an ambitious and extraordinary story with a fine acting. He knows how to evoke emotions. He does that every week in This is us, and this movie could be considered a condensed version of the series. If you love murders, guns and action, this movie may not be your cup of tea. If you, however, like movies that take you on an emotional rollercoaster of love, desperation and life, go see it (and bring tissues)
Life itself is an engrossing, complex and highly emotional story that will make you laugh, cry, think, ponder and reflect. And there are not many movies like that.