All the Bright Places (2020) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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The latest Netflix original romantic drama “All the Bright Places” is a good one and one about the often forgotten topic of mental heath for people growing up. Director Brett Haley successfully balanced the drama with plenty of realistic bouts of mental illness and almost certainly the brighter and darker times through its two beautifully captured main characters. This film shows the power of love and positive mindset can actually make a difference in one’s life.
The always wonderful Elle Fanning and rising star Justice Smith are pitch perfect as the flawed yet intriguing characters and lovers. Elle Fanning is particular shines as she goes from wrecked and lost souls on the verge of jumping the bridge after the death of her sister. Justice Smith shows the inner demons and how he tries so hard to bury it all as he goes about life in a positive manner. Luke Wilson is wonderful as the father of Elle.
All in all, “All the Bright Places” is a delightful and tragic romantic drama that depicts the brutal reality of mental illness and how it affects everyone of all ages. The film shows the effect on teenagers and how they try their best to overcome and bury it in their own ways. Life is not easy and dealing with emotions is always a difficult aspect. Scripted based on the novel by Jennifer Niven, this is a beautifully crafted film that show the power of caring, taking the extra step and ultimately how love can overcome certain challenges. We can all make a difference to those around us and this film depicts it wonderfully.
I rated it 8/10