The Death & Life of John F. Donovan ★★★★

"how could you have stolen a place that was made just for you?"

yes, the movie is clumsy at times, but it is a movie you feel. jacob tremblay's performance lacks a bit at times, but overall he delivers. i found harington compelling, contrary to most critics, i felt his inner turmoil and his desire to control his impulses -- and failing to do so -- vividly. susan sarandon shines, as does michael gambon, and i insist on mentioning jared keeso, who is solid alongside his costars. the bathtub scene is one of my favourite scenes i've ever had the privilege to witness; its tenderness, understanding, acceptance made its way to my heart and it was magic that was captured on film with sarandon, keeso and harington's chemistry.

the story, the editing and the score/music choices are all uniquely interwoven, all original and meaningful and they hit. it is a tour de force to have the ending displayed in the very beginning of a movie like this (so based on feelings), before the viewer has any emotional attachment to the characters and then build that emotional attachment in such a way that the ending, even if previously seen, strikes tenfold. it is heartbreaking, human, flawed, but oh, how wonderful it is to FEEL.

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