Coming to selected theatres this Friday and then to AppleTV+ on November 4th from director Lila Neugebauer and A24 comes her story with CAUSEWAY.
Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned from Afghanistan after her convoy was hit with IED’s. Staying with Sharon (Jayne Houdyshell), she helps Lynsey relearn the things we all take for granted. Slowly, she starts to regain her life and is nervous about returning home to New Orleans.
Almost immediately she is met with the past and mother Gloria (Linda Emond), who has issues of her own. One of them is forgetting to pick Lynsey up from the bus station but it won’t be the first time she has let her child down.
Lynsey uses the family truck to look for a job and takes one as a pool cleaner. On the way home, the truck starts acting up and Lynsey makes it to the local auto shop. There she meets James (Brian Tyree Henry) and the two strike up a friendship. She shares only the tiniest bit of her life and James shares his own story.
As she starts to feel stress at home, Lynsey decides that she wants to return to Afghanistan but Dr. Lucas (Stephen Henderson) makes it clear that he does not agree. Each appointment goes the same until Lynsey finally lets it be known that returning to her job in Afghanistan is her decision and no one else’s.
In the meantime, she and James are spending time together and enjoying each other’s company. Cleaning the pool of one client who is out of town, they both go for a dip. James decides to tell Lynsey more about what happened to him. When things go a little wrong, James lets Lynsey know that her pain is not exclusive nor has she been totally honest with him.
It is time for Lynsey to stop living in her past, embrace brother Justin (Russell Harvard) and truly decide that it is time to stop running – oh, and make things right with a good friend.
Lawrence as Lynsey is playing a woman who has trauma on many levels. Of course, her experience in Afghanistan is what brought her home but the question becomes why did she leave in the first place? Once she was away, why did resign herself to ignoring her family? Does experience mean being a bad friend? Finally, did Lynsey learn nothing from what happened to her? Lawrence takes the complex through each level of trauma; Lynsey might not do it well but it’s better than running.
Henry as James is a man that has his own traumas which makes it easier to see when someone else is wounded. James embraces his new friend and tries to be a good one (he is, trust that!) but can hurt just as easy. Henry gives us a flawed man who lives with his own guilt each and every day and his performance is truly stellar. His own levels of trauma are hidden under the skin of a man who shows nothing but kindness.
Emond as Gloria is a woman who does not know how to connect with her children. She is concerned but it seems only if she can be the center of their attention. Edmond brings her confused character with no regrets and that’s hard to do so well done. A small but powerful scene between Lawrence and Harvard – it is a surprise to experience their conversation and beautiful at the same time.
Shout out to Houdyshell as Sharon because, as they say in the south, bless her little heart! This actress gives us the big-hearted woman who cares for Lynsey and not just for the money. It is so apparent that the focus of this character is to give life and love back to the wounded. Houdyshell makes it look stunning on film.
Other cast include Frederick Weller as Rick and Han Soto as physiotherapist Tim Stuart.
Apple+ is a video on demand web television that debuted in 2019. Viewable through Apple’s TV app, CEO Tim Cook wanted original content calling it “a great opportunity for us from a creation point of view”. From THE MORNING SHOW to TRYING and THE BANKER and Jason Momoa in SEE, there is plenty of choices for everyone. Plenty of genres? That is exactly what they are bringing to viewers and to see more of what they have to offer please visit www.apple.com/tv/.
A24 is an independent entertainment company that specializes in film and television production based in New York City. Films such as A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III, the amazing EX MACHINA, ROOM and THE WITCH. Many of their films can be found on DirecTV Cinema and Amazon Prime. For more information, please visit www.a24films.com.
The Gotham Awards has nominated Brian Tyree Henry for Outstanding Supporting Performance and at the Rome Film Festival it is nominated for Best Film. CAUSEWAY is the Official Selection of the BFI London Film Festival and TIFF.
CAUSEWAY is a story about a journey back, not just from her injury but from her life in general. Fighting all her life, it is now all right in front of her and not going anywhere. Finding a breather with new friend James is okay for a while, but even then, the cracks start to show.
A causeway is, by definition, an island reached at low tide – so to get back to the world, Lynsey can not get to it until the tide goes down and the road is clear. In the meantime, this character must come to terms with so much but, it is time. I think James is dealing with the same pain but on the other side of the same island and he too must clear the way so he can cross.
Their relationship is mired by pain but, when they are together, there is something so special between the two. All I could think of toward the end was that this film reminds me of a friendship I had many years ago, we got off the trail too but it was so worth coming back together remembering that its okay to reach out in a deep and loving friendship.
In the end – its time to begin again!