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The Friend

Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck star in this intensely moving and beautifully mounted drama detailing how a friend saved a family after a young mother's diagnosis with terminal cancer.

Dir Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Prod Kevin Walsh, Michael Pruss, Ryan Stowell, Teddy Schwarzman
Scr Brad Ingelsby
With Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck
124 min
UK Distribution STXinternational
With English subtitles

The tagline of Matt Teague's autobiographical article from a 2015 issue of Esquire devastatingly reads: 'His wife was just thirty-four. They had two little girls. The cancer was everywhere, and the parts of dying that nobody talks about were about to start. His best friend came to help out for a couple weeks. And he never left'. A sensitive adaptation of that piece, Gabriela Cowperthwaite's (Blackfish) The Friend is a deeply affecting study of love, with Affleck and Johnson as the Teagues and Jason Segel their closest friend Dane, the man who saved Matt's life as his wife's condition worsened. While Johnson is always a charismatic screen presence, this is essentially a portrait of male friendship, powered by two commanding performances. Segel (The Muppets, How I Met Your Mother) in particular brings warmth and charm to a soulful Dane. While viewers should expect tears from a film that tackles the notion of dying 'well' - if there is such a thing - this is also a drama about living, even when that seems unfathomable, through the love and support of friends.

Tricia Tuttle

Additional information

Tickets on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00

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