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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Did We Build Our Happiness On The Unhappiness of Others...?" - Married Life on BLU RAY
Name-checking the top grade cast in "Married Life" - a sort of 40's/50's film noir tale of marital shenanigans - will be enough to draw most movie lovers in. And while Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams are typically lovely, deep and believable in their roles, it's the two men - Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper - who really get to shine.

Its directed by IRA...
Published on 25 Jan 2009 by Mark Barry

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little bland
The read up promised quite an interesting 40's thriller style movie but delivered little to keep you interested.
Published on 4 Oct 2009 by C. Ward


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Did We Build Our Happiness On The Unhappiness of Others...?" - Married Life on BLU RAY, 25 Jan 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Name-checking the top grade cast in "Married Life" - a sort of 40's/50's film noir tale of marital shenanigans - will be enough to draw most movie lovers in. And while Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams are typically lovely, deep and believable in their roles, it's the two men - Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper - who really get to shine.

Its directed by IRA SACHS and co-adapted by him and ORAN MOVERMAN from the 1953 book by JOHN BINGHAM called "Five Roundabouts To Heaven".

Narrated by Richard (Brosnan's character), you just know you're going to enjoy this story when you hear him casually say, "I always thought marriage was a mild kind of illness...like the Flu or Chicken Pox...to which I was safely immune". Brosnan's tone throughout the narration changes - at first it's sly and laidback and suave - so you're not sure if he's the good guy or the bad guy - or both - and nor do you want to know - because in this clever and beautifully revealing film, the finding out is half the fun...

And who out there in movie land doesn't want to see a film with Chris Cooper in it? Harry (Cooper's character) is in a stagnating but not entirely loveless marriage to Pat (Clarkson). Then along comes the young, alive and beautiful Kay (McAdams) who stirs Harry's very soul - but alas also grabs the loins of the caddish Richard (Brosnan) - his lifetime buddy and pal. Friendships are tested, plots are formed and everyone drinks loads of scotch and smokes acres of cigarettes and acts as if nothing is wrong...

The boys as you can imagine - given meaty material - are great. Warm, cold, up, down - Cooper layers his performance - and he slyly fools you too by doing so. Brosnan is still great eye-candy and effortlessly charming - caddish one moment - genuine the next - he plays his character both ways - and does it very, very well. McAdams is enough to make most grown men weak at the knees and Patricia Clarkson - who probably has the least likeable of roles - makes you empathize with her character - see her as a real person - a great performance from a genuine class act. In fact, you can just 'feel' how all the actors rise to the evolving story and you suspect they thoroughly enjoyed both working off each other and making this very intelligently written little gem.

Visually - it's period Americana - were in MAD MEN territory here. "Married Life" is gorgeous to look at - and very "Shawshank" in places on the outdoor scenes - an absolute blast to view on Blu Ray.

The real unexpected pleasure, however, comes in 3 fully realised Alternate Endings that are almost as enjoyable as the entire movie - and without spoiling it - they take the story to other places - and brilliantly too. Brosnan - in particular - is exceptionally good.

There's a commentary by director and co-script writer Ira Sachs, but it's a damn shame there isn't an on-set segment - because here's actors and a movie you admire - and it would have been just great to get the writer and director's perspectives outside of hearing the entire film commentary.

Not a masterpiece for sure, but a great little watch nonetheless and one that deserves your attention.

"Did We Build Our Happiness On The Unhappiness of Others...?" Brosnan asks towards the end of his voice over - watch this 'classy' little noir thriller and find out...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining ..., 25 Jun 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
This film looks so different from The Delta and 40 Shades Of Blue (also by Ira Sachs) I found it intriguing in prospect, and it largely delivers. It has a rather cossetted look, as if locked into its world and forcing you to dwell within the same confinement, but this enables it to work its spell. It starts with a terrific title sequence which sets a fascinating 40s tone, a bit like Almodovar in sepia. The story is quite involving, and above all, brilliantly acted by all four players. It is much more rewarding than Closer or the recent Carnage, both of which also revolved around the dynamic between two men and two women, but were too cold and cynical to make a deep impact, I felt. This is not the case here, although the murder plot which is central to the film does put it into the genre territory. It's an elegant game of a film, but somehow it gets a certain warmth and the women carry this, really, particularly Patricia Clarkson who does something quite magical with her role. Chris Cooper is also amazingly good, because his role is almost impossible to bring off, but I thought he did as well with it as anyone could. I suppose it bears more than a passing resemblance to Murnau's Sunrise, in a way, although the tone could hardly be more different; it's certainly an interesting film to think about in relation to other films, but in the end it is not expressionistic so the murder motif remains poised between artifice and dramatic interest.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable entertainment, 10 April 2009
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This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
I only bought this as a fan of Pierce Brosnan, as the subject matter and era of the setting didn't appeal to me too much, but having watched it last night I found it humorous and entertaining - the actors were all brilliant, particularly Chris Collins playing the tortured man whose life falls apart around him. Rachel McAdams was beautiful and glamorous and Patricia Clarkson was regal, with her character having by far the most unusual twist in the storyline! Pierce, of course, was gorgeous as usual, and has the perfect voice for the commentary, but I would recommend it to anyone who still likes a film with no sex/violence/ swearing - they're thin on the ground these days!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which ending would you choose?, 26 Feb 2009
By 
Mrs. B. M. Finch "amdramlady" (Warwickshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
I waited a long time for this to be available in the UK and it was worth the wait. An intriguing plot, well acted by all concerned. The extra addition of 3 possible endings was a good idea - I wonder which one most people will choose!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Did We Build Our Happiness On The Unhappiness of Others...?", 25 Jan 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
Name-checking the top grade cast in "Married Life" - a sort of 40's/50's film noir tale of marital shenanigans - will be enough to draw most movie lovers in. And while Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams are typically lovely, deep and believable in their roles, it's the two men - Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper - who really get to shine.

Its directed by IRA SACHS and co-adapted by him and ORAN MOVERMAN from the 1953 book by JOHN BINGHAM called "Five Roundabouts To Heaven".

Narrated by Richard (Brosnan's character), you just know you're going to enjoy this story when you hear him casually say, "I always thought marriage was a mild kind of illness...like the Flu or Chicken Pox...to which I was safely immune". Brosnan's tone throughout the narration changes - at first it's sly and laidback and suave - so you're not sure if he's the good guy or the bad guy - or both - and nor do you want to know - because in this clever and beautifully revealing film, the finding out is half the fun...

And who out there in movie land doesn't want to see a film with Chris Cooper in it? Harry (Cooper's character) is in a stagnating but not entirely loveless marriage to Pat (Clarkson). Then along comes the young, alive and beautiful Kay (McAdams) who stirs Harry's very soul - but alas also grabs the loins of the caddish Richard (Brosnan) - his lifetime buddy and pal. Friendships are tested, plots are formed and everyone drinks loads of scotch and smokes acres of cigarettes and acts as if nothing is wrong...

The boys as you can imagine - given meaty material - are great. Warm, cold, up, down - Cooper layers his performance - and he slyly fools you too by doing so. Brosnan is still great eye-candy and effortlessly charming - caddish one moment - genuine the next - he plays his character both ways - and does it very, very well. McAdams is enough to make most grown men weak at the knees and Patricia Clarkson - who probably has the least likeable of roles - makes you empathize with her character - see her as a real person - a great performance from a genuine class act. In fact, you can just 'feel' how all the actors rise to the evolving story and you suspect they thoroughly enjoyed both working off each other and making this very intelligently written little gem.

Visually - it's period Americana - were in MAD MEN territory here. "Married Life" is gorgeous to look at - and very "Shawshank" in places on the outdoor scenes - an absolute blast to view (on either DVD or Blu Ray).

The real unexpected pleasure, however, comes in 3 fully realised Alternate Endings that are almost as enjoyable as the entire movie - and without spoiling it - they take the story to other places - and brilliantly too. Brosnan - in particular - is exceptionally good.

There's a commentary by director and co-script writer Ira Sachs, but it's a damn shame there isn't an on-set segment - because here's actors and a movie you admire - and it would have been just great to get the writer and director's perspectives outside of hearing the entire film commentary.

Not a masterpiece for sure, but a great little watch nonetheless and one that deserves your attention.

"Did We Build Our Happiness On The Unhappiness of Others...?" Brosnan asks towards the end of his voice over - watch this 'classy' little noir thriller and find out...
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story about what appeared to be male midlife ..., 3 Aug 2014
This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
An interesting story about what appeared to be male midlife crisis in a very liberal marriage, she being more liberated than him. That was the mismatch. Some relationships are complicated, and not even obvious to the people involved. I was never sure what would happen next. Satisfactory ending, no harm done. I will view again, to confirm my first impression.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - WHAT A FABULOUS FILM .., 2 July 2014
This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
.

Gosh ...... what a fabulous film. Unknown to me and bought as I'm a Pierce Brosnan fan and, in the main, his films are generally excellent.

Very atmospheric and totally engrossing. Amazing acting from all members of cast. My husband and I were enthralled and mesmerised by it from start to finish. Give it a year and we will DEFINITELY watch it again (even though we'll know the ending!).

VERY RECOMMENDED.

.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Married life, 10 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film as a fan of Rachel McAdams and was not disappointed. Great cast and intriguing plot. Worth watching.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different Pierce Brosnan, 21 July 2014
By 
verity (DEVON: U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Married Life [DVD] (DVD)
Seems to ramble a bit but turns out to be a solid interesting story. Sensibly cast. I enjoyed it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We've all thought about it!, 27 Nov 2008
By 
R. J. Cross (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Great acting with a fantastic soundtrack. Let's kill the wife!
A lovely careful film, blackly humoured. Chris Cooper is excellent as the old married man who fines another young woman who is just different from his wife, who he loves dearly so thinks she's better dead than living with other him. Pierce Bronsan is perfect as the best friend who falls for Chris Coopers new love. Lots of lovely inter play and an enjoyable watch.
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Married Life [DVD]
Married Life [DVD] by Ira Sachs (DVD - 2009)
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