October 29, 2007 12:00 PM

Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro | R |

DRAMA

No way around it, moping is a downer. Poor Berry spends nearly all of Things We Lost in the Fire stuck in a deep blue funk. Her character has good reason to be unhappy: Her loving husband (David Duchovny) has been killed in a senseless shooting, leaving her alone in a big house in Seattle with two young kids. She invites her husband’s oldest friend (Del Toro), a recovering junkie, to move into her empty garage. Slowly, these two hurting souls help each other to mend. Danish director Susanne Bier (After the Wedding) keeps Things admirably focused on the emotional journey of the characters, but there’s too little story for a fully satisfying trip. Del Toro gives the film what life it has, doing the unexpected—whether in a line reading or a look—in scene after scene.

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