The Upside of Anger

  • Film
  • Drama
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When her husband leaves without a goodbye, housewife Joan Allen turns to the bottle to cope with rejection and raise four high-school to college-age daughters. A similarly sozzled Kevin Costner pitches up one day to discuss the sale of a vacant lot adjoining their upscale Detroit properties, and soon this ex-baseball star, now scuffing along on local radio, is spending a lot of time there. He may be just what she needs, or the last thing she needs – if she ever says sober long enough to work it out.

This serio-comic rumination on life’s skewed learning curve deserves some credit for leading with a couple of flailing, insecure, not all that likeable characters, showcasing excellent work from Allen (one of the great screen drunks) and Costner (uncommonly persuasive playing against type). There’s spiky humour and ample breathing room for the material, yet the movie’s rather too intent on parading its own wisdom. Given the catastrophic final twist and a cloying voiceover explaining the point of it all, perhaps such smugness wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 4 2007
Duration: 117 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mike Binder
Cast: Joan Allen
Kevin Costner
Erika Christensen
Evan Rachel Wood
Keri Russell
Alicia Witt
Mike Binder
Dane Christensen
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