Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Don't miss it

Every now and then Hollywood reaches into its dodgy bag of feelgood froth and pulls out a film you know you'll still love in 2020. I'm talking about The Bucket List.

I went because it double-bills two of the best actors of our age, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. There are no car chases, no aliens, no licentious sex. It's all about how they find enjoyment and, eventually, fulfilment facing life's final curtain. And yes, there are laughs too. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, they set off on the trip of a lifetime to work their way through a list of things they want to do before they - you've guessed it - kick the bucket.

The characters are tailor-made. Nicholson is an endearing billionaire loner with four divorces and an attitude problem. Freeman plays a decent, thoughtful working man with a lovely wife who fought hard to bring up a fine family but feels life could have offered more.

Like all good films it'll make you laugh and it'll make you cry. Despite the death sentence, which neither escapes, humour strikes unannounced. Expect to spit at least one mouthful of popcorn into the next row (don't worry, you'll get some back from the guy behind). And only the hardest soul won't gulp on a tear when Nicholson crosses off what he wanted to do to the most beautiful girl in the world.

This film will leave you with a philosophical sense of wonder at God's world and our place in it. You'll see sadness and beauty go hand in hand, and you'll be uplifted by how adaptable - and how kindly - ordinary people can be in death's dark vale.

It's just a story, but if you need your faith in humanity restoring, or if you just want to soar the skies for a few hours, The Bucket List will deliver.


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