Fingers on Fire

So, yes, I finally got to see Brain on Fire last night! Found a way to watch it and I couldn’t resist… 🙂 Warning: some SPOILERS ahead, proceed at your own risk!

Brain on Fire tells the true story of young journalist Susannah Cahalan (Chloë Grace Moretz) who starts showing erratic behaviour, she deteriorates into psychoses, and is hospitalized while the doctors can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with her. The movie is all about this deterioration process and the search for answers by her, her divorced parents Tom (Richard Armitage) and Rhona (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her boyfriend Stephen (Thomas Mann).

So, what did I think of the movie? The acting was fine, the camera really likes Richard Armitage (he gets some nice close-ups), Moretz did a decent job, Moss (under-used!) and Mann were good, but the story was… a little tedious. Can’t quite put my finger on it why this movie did not ignite for me, but I think maybe it was because the story was fully focussed on the process of Susannah’s decline and the mystery surrounding her illness, where I had hoped it would be more character driven. Of course, as an Armitage fan, I was particularly interested in the characterization for Tom and it was not what I had hoped either. I remember from reading the book that this search for the truth brought Susannah closer to her father, also due to his diaries he wrote at the time, but I saw little of that in the movie. He and Susannah seemed OK with each other from the start (yes, he was a little annoyed with her sometimes, but no more or less than any parent would be) and he was happy with her in the end. Richard played the worried father very well (he was even scary sometimes when he got angry and felt helpless) but other than the worry and the relief at the end, there wasn’t that much character development for him here, I felt. Oh, and as an outsider, I thought he did a good American accent! End verdict for me: the movie was fine and I will watch it again (especially Richard’s bits) but, alas, it wasn’t a masterpiece movie.

My so-so opinion of the movie didn’t stop my screencapping fingers – they were on fire as I screencapped quite a lot of Richard in this. Finally, some new Richard-work for me to sink my teeth into! Alas, the caps aren’t high-resolution, but they are still lovely to look at. Be warned, there are lots! This post isn’t titled “fingers on fire” for nothing…

This is from the beginning of the movie, Tom working the BBQ, meeting Susannah’s boyfriend and celebrating Susannah’s birthday…

BOF Richard Armitage (3)BOF Richard Armitage (2)BOF Richard Armitage (6)BOF Richard Armitage (4)BOF Richard Armitage (5)BOF Richard Armitage (9)BOF Richard Armitage (7)BOF Richard Armitage (8)

Tom visiting his daughter’s apartment…

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In Susannah’s apartment after she gets home from a first stay in hospital…

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Rhona and Tom discussing their daughter. Also, Tom’s reactions to his daughter’s odd behaviour during dinner…

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Worried at the hospital…

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Tom watching over his daughter…

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In the doctor’s office, desperate because there are no answers…

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Worried at the hospital and Tom comforting Susannah’s boyfriend…

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More worries…

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Talking with Rhona and then standing alone in the dark. I love the standing alone in the dark shot (and there’s the diary in his hand, which has no place at all in the storyline).

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Worries, then finally some good news, smiles and a tearful release…

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And I think this is my fave screencap.. hugs after the relieving news of a diagnosis… I just love those smile crinkles!

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And then the happy ending… Susannah recovering and daddy Tom happily supporting her…

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So, yeah, this may not be the greatest movie ever but it offers lots of Richard-goodies! Papa Richard is a lovely sight to behold. ❤

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21 thoughts on “Fingers on Fire

  1. I found the book so incredibly tedious, I’m unsure if I want to see the movie. (Yes, I have it.) Just a lot of triggers for me. (My son has a congenital heart defect and has had some serious surgeries.) But thank you for the screen caps!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the book was also a little tedious… just like the movie.
      Sorry about your son. I can totally imagine something like that being painful to watch for you. It’s like me not being able to watch movies about old people in nursing homes/with dementia or Alzheimer’s – too many triggers because of my dad…
      At least there are screencaps to keep you occupied. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I too watched it yesterday and have to agree with you. Unlike the book, the movie wasn’t very ‘meaty’ when it came to the relationships. I wondered while I watched, how different would it have been if another actress had been cast in the lead role; say, Dakota Fanning? She is 23 and a much better actress, IMO. It’s frustrating to watch a film and not see it reach its potential. As it stands, it comes across as your standard Made-For-TV movie instead of a Bound-For-The-Cinemas film. But hey, Richard wore blue and that’s always a plus in my book! He did do a good job with his American accent. Boy, do I love to listen to his deep voice. OOOF! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that voice… sigh… 🙂 And his eyes, some of the looks he gives, make me melt…
      Dakota Fanning – yes, she would have been a good choice! But I also think the script just was not rounded enough – there was too little room for more in-depth relationship development. I liked her work-friend in the movie, by the way!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. The script was lacking; too slow, not deep enough, etc. Jenny Slate did a terrific job with what she was given; I wish we had seen more of her. As for the looks…#swoon. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoying your screen caps while at work…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sigh. You know what I thought of the film and of Moretz. I guess not everyone hated her in this role, lol 🙂 There are a few scenes that I just love — him fixing her drain that isn’t broken, the scene at dinner in his house, the scene where he admits his opinion of the boyfriend has changed. I see those as things I’ll watch like sugar candy when I’ve had a really bad day. But the script did nothing and according to the director, it was written that way on purpose: the point of the film is you’re supposed to be able to recognize when you have the disease. Whatever. Richard Armitage is so good looking in this role. All the blue, all the plaid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I didn’t mind Moretz, didn’t hate her or love her, she was fine. For me the stand-out performances were Jenny Slate as the work-friend and most of all Richard! Yes to all the scenes you mentioned! Yes to all his scenes, period. Also the end in hospital when there’s a diagnosis and he can’t hold back tears and wipes them away. So well-done. I certainly will go back to his scenes regularly. Oh, and love his look as well in this. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really enjoyed reading your review and seeing all the great pictures. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. He looks delicious. Great hair, love the beard. It’s a shame that the film did not give the actors more to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Esther, Thanks for sharing your critique of the movie “Brain on Fire’! And all of the caps are wonderful! Cheers! Grati

    Like

  8. Danke für die review mit den tollen Bildern. Bin schon ganz gespannt und hoffe, ich habe nächste Woche Zeit reinzuschauen!

    Liked by 1 person

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