Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Moran Atias, Kim Basinger, James Franco, Maria Bello, David Harewood
No one's ever described Crash writer-director Paul Haggis as being "subtle." But with the laughably heavy-handed Third Person, Haggis reaches new levels of absurdity. Worst of all, he's an Academy Award-winning filmmaker.
And, boy, does he really want to win another one. The worst kind of prestige drama, Third Person squanders the central quartet of Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, and Adrien Brody in an overcrowded, multi-plot narrative that grows more ludicrous with each new reveal, twist, and overheated moment of all-the-feels melodrama. The story's anchor is Neeson, playing a writer working through a new manuscript while going through the emotional ringer with his mistress (Wilde) in Paris; in Italy, an American businessman (Brody) tries to play Captain-Save-a-Dame for a beautiful woman (Moran Atias) whose daughter is being held for ransom; and in New York, an unstable woman (Kunis) is in a heated custody battle with her ex-husband (James Franco) over their young son.
Each one of Third Person's three storylines is uninspired enough, but when they all congeal together in the film's overwrought climax? It's as if Haggis is bashing his themes into his Word processor with that Oscar statue he never should've won in the first place. —Matt Barone