Coming to theatres this Friday from director George C. Wolfe and EntertainmentOne comes the story of a woman who discovers that YOU’RE NOT YOU.
This film tells the story of Kate (Hilary Swank), a concert pianist who is focused on life with her husband Evan (Josh Duhamel). It become clear quickly that something is physically wrong when Kate has trouble with her hands. She is diagnosed with ALS and within a year she is being cared for by Evan.
Kate decides she wants someone to come in and be a caregiver. After a few interviews she meets Bec (Emmy Rossum), a woman who lives by the seat of her pants but needs a job. Evan is totally against it but Kate sees something in Bec that speaks to her.
After a rough beginning, these two women bond in a friendship filled with honesty and fierce loyalty for one another. Bec proves this when Evan brings pain to Kate’s life as both women share the hurt.
Bec also meets Carl (Jason Ritter) who wants to know her but it’s hard when the walls are up. But yet Bec shows Kate that life can be wonderful filled with friends and love and Kate shows Bec that her potential to be an amazing human being is bigger than she knows.
Learning from each other has a power all its own.
FINAL WORD: Swank as Kate puts in another performance full of depth and emotion. She seems set on doing films about people who struggle to find the best in themselves before the best comes to late. From BOYS DON’T CRY to MILLION DOLLAR BABY, this film can be added to that list. Playing a woman with ALS, she dives in deeper than the affliction to the life character Kate had into the life she always wanted. Her scenes with Rossum are just riveting as they play off each characters frailties and hopes.
Rossum as Bec is tough as nails, outspoken, fiery and definitely come along way from the DAY AFTER TOMORROW days. Taking on Kate and ALS she is thrown in at the beginning but finds a way on her own terms. Finally understanding that she is more than a caregiver, Rossum’s character is also faced with ‘no more excuses’ for the path she had been on. It is a brilliant performance and I’m fairly certain there will be awards in her future.
Duhamel as Evan is a little bit of a controlling and obsessive compulsive husband. He isn’t a character that fans will be use to that’s for sure. As long as his life is going fine then hubby is happy, once it is not so fine he takes the easy way out filled with excuses and faults. Basically there is a crack in the façade!
I spoke with Josh Duhamel about his role as Evan recently at the San Diego Film Festival where he delighted audiences after the film with a question and answer session. Before that I had my face to face:
Hi Josh, I’m really pleased to talk with you.
You too Jeri, wow, is this a crazy night or what?
Well, I think everyone is waiting to talk with you so I consider myself pretty lucky.
Ahhh, well, I feel pretty lucky talking to you too.
Tonight you are here for YOU’RE NOT YOU, what made you decide that this was a project you wanted to be involved in?
I have to tell you that I didn’t know I was going to be doing the film until two weeks prior to shooting. I didn’t know much about ALS and I didn’t understand the devastation of it. It is a difficult thing to watch and my character is not great but he did the best he could with the cards he was dealt.
Did you know Hilary before this film?
I had worked with her one other time briefly on a movie called NEW YEARS EVE and when they called to ask me to do it I said ‘okay’. I mean this character, Evan, is kind of a dick really. Hilary is so good and so fearless and I thought Emmy was amazing in counteracting her.
Were there days were the scenes were just too tough to do because her condition worsens?
She is an actor animal, she can turn it on with ease. Hilary has been working on this project for a while and was prepared for this. She stayed in character and was quiet, especially toward the end when her character is sick.
How is it doing a less commercial film as opposed to a blockbuster?
I got into the business to do things like this and to stretch myself. I was miserable shooting this film but at the end of the day you feel like you are pushing yourself and challenging yourself. I’m doing a film LOST IN THE SUN and I’m proud of that and it may not be the biggest commercial success but it can impact people.
What do you want people to take away from seeing the film?
It’s a very powerful film and I think it needs to be. It’s a very serious disease and unfortunately families and people suffering from it go through a hard experience. This film is uplifting in a lot of ways and shows that you don’t have to be a victim but can be strong. No one survives ALS yet and we hope it gives them hope.
Thanks Josh for taking the time to talk and congratulations on the film.
Thank you Jeri, I appreciate that so much.
Other cast include: Gareth Williams as Bruce, Mike Doyle as Tom, Beau Knapp as Jackson, Stephanie Beatriz as Jill and Marcia Gay Harden as Mom.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give YOU’RE NOT YOU four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a film that doesn’t hold back in the slightest. Swank puts in some tough work to portray Kate as the film begins with her illness and sees it through to the end – but what an end. Rossum gives as good as she gets meaning both these actresses give it all and the audience gets the best of this story.
ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is known by the name Lou Gehrig’s disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The degeneration of the motor neurons causes these neurons to die as brain and muscle movement is lost. Although there is no cure for ALS, there is research, devices, therapies and medications available.
The film brought the audience at the 2014 San Diego Film Festival to tears and a standing ovation at the films end. It is clear that the subject matter was close to some and informative to others making the film as real as it can get.
In the end – life is measured in moments that leave you breathless!