Live Life And Then Let Go

Live Life And Then Let Go

Static Mass Rating: 4/5

Release Date: Oct 8th, 2010
Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 100 minutes

Director: burr Steers
Cast: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta, Amanda Crew, Charlie Tahan, Dave Franco, Augustus Prew

Based on the novel of the same name by Ben Sherwood, this moving melodrama with supernatural elements brings together the idea of living life and letting go.

Charlie St. Cloud (Efron) is a star in his local community for his sailing skills and is about to leave for Stanford University on a scholarship. He lives with his mother (Basinger) and dotes on his little brother Sam (Tahan). The brothers are extremely attached to each other and Charlie promises him that he’ll play catch with him everyday until he leaves for Stanford.

Later that night, their mom goes to work leaving the boys home alone, Charlie tries to sneak out, but when he is spotted by Sam, he is forced to take him along. Tragedy strikes when their car is hit by a truck and though Charlie is saved by a paramedic (Liotta), Sam dies in his arms. 5 years pass and life hasn’t moved forward for Charlie, instead of going to Stanford, he got a job working at a cemetery where he tends graves and lives like a hermit. The residents regard him as odd and his star quality seems to have faded, but he keeps his promise to Sam, meeting him in the woods everyday at their agreed time to play catch.

When a former classmate, Tess (Crew), takes an interest in Charlie, they begin to fall in love and Charlie is torn between his promise to Sam and the future he could have with someone who is living. Unable to let go of Sam or understand why his life was spared while his brother’s was taken, Charlie refuses to live his life fully.

Beautifully filmed, Charlie St. Cloud is as romantic and sentimental as any film this year will get and for fans of Zac Efron, there is plenty of him to see. The actor has gone from strength to strength with each role he takes on and Charlie St. Cloud proves he can deliver a fine, dramatic performance. There are many scenes which go over and beyond what I expected from this film and one of them is the love scene which takes place in the cemetery. As night falls, the lovers are illuminated against the moonlight in magnificent close-ups reminiscent to A Place In The Sun (1951) with Mongtomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor.

Augustus Prew in a supporting role is also fantastic as Charlie’s friend Alistair who accepts that he’s a little bit different. It’s what a good friend is for, who takes you at your best and worst and is there when you need them. While the bigger names in the movie, Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger, do not have much screen time, the film solely belongs to Zac and he carries it well with the support of the young actors including Charlie Tahan.

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  1. This is a great little movie, no earth shaker but a pleasant diversion with winning performances all round. The subject matter is tastefully handled too. Zac Efron carries this movie as well he should, he is the star. I am a big supporter of this exciting young actor. To me, he keeps getting better with each performance. he may be earmarked as a pretty boy actor who can sing and dance but I applaud his film choices in trying to get away from that stereotype. I am almost 50 and was introduced to Zac via the HSM franschise (which I enjoyed with my young grand daughter) and could see that he has enormous star power in the making. If nurtured correctly he will become THE next big thing.
    But getting back to the movie. One cannot help feel moved by this story, and if it doesn’t bring you to tears at some stage then you must have a heart of gold. Subtle direction of Burr Steers adds to the illusion of this nice little picture.

    And well done Zac!!

  2. Just an update to my previous post. The thought about heart of gold should of course read heart of stone!!

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