Side Effects

First Hit:  An outstanding film; finely crafted with excellent performances.

I cannot say enough about this film because the drama setup and then to have it evolve into a complex crime thriller was fantastic.

I was fully drawn in by the story but it was the fine acting by Jude Law (as Dr. Jonathan Banks), Rooney Mara (as Emily Taylor) while being outstandingly supported by Catherine Zeta-Jones (as Dr. Victoria Siebert) and Channing Tatum (as Martin Taylor).

The film subtly draws you in to feel a deep sadness for Emily and Martin as they attempt to put their lives back together after he comes out of prison for insider trading. The descriptions of, and watching Emily experience her depression were extraordinary – I completely believed her.

What made this film work was the wonderful writing and the amazing direction by Steven Soderbergh. This film explores depression, the use of pharmaceuticals to treat depression, the law and how it works with double jeopardy and mental health, pharmaceutical companies, relationships, and greed encased in a whole and complete film.

Mara was unbelievably great and I bought the story hook line and sinker. Her performance in this film will set her apart from a small group of very good actresses into greatness. Law was outstanding. His strength as a man and openness as a human being were all exposed as he knew something was up and wasn’t going to stop trying to figure out what the real story was. Zeta-Jones in a secondary but critical/pivotal role was very very good. Tatum was physically only in the first part of the film but his presence set up the rest of the film and therefore he’s part of the whole film. Scott Z. Burns wrote a sublime script. It was interesting, full of twists but not for effect, they were there to move the story forward and drive to a very interesting end. Soderbergh directed this film with perfection - cannot say anything more - perfect.

Overall:  This is a really great film.