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Royal Bank of Canada Gala

Life Itself

The heartrending complexities of life are embraced in a multi-layered love story from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman.

Dir-Scr Dan Fogelman
Prod Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Aaron Ryder
With Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, Annette Bening
USA
2018
117min
UK Distribution Sky Cinema

Fans of smash hit US TV series This Is Us will already know creator Dan Fogelman has an innate knack for producing emotional, multi-character drama on an epic scale. With Life Itself, Fogelman effortlessly renders this talent in richly cinematic terms, gathering an all-star ensemble cast for his ambitious meditation on the human condition and fundamental truths that connect us all. Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde play a New York couple driven apart by tragedy. Charting their love affair from their college days through to married life and the birth of their first child, we experience their transcendental highs and crushing lows. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a couple in the lush Spanish countryside endeavour to make their relationship work in the face of mounting external influences. Through one single incident, the lives of these seemingly disparate people prove inextricably linked, impacting each of them in unforeseen ways. Epic in scope, yet intimately relatable in its emotions, Life Itself is a searing testament to the redemptive powers of love. But more than a sweeping love story, Fogelman’s film is a narratively complex, playfully cine-literate affair, unfolding in a host of inventive and unexpected ways.

Michael Blyth

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