Rough Lives
21 Grams
Review by Ross Anthony

Slow, sometimes indulgently slow. Presented in scenes out of sequence. Strong acting by Sean Penn (always good), Naomi Watts (also -- always good), and Benicio Del Toro (yes -- you can count on him too). With a cast like that, you know this is going to be a rather intense film. But that intensity is diluted with a languid pace. I don't see how editing out of the timeline adds to this film. And the music/sound track, while contributing to the harsh reality of the picture's subject, ultimately subtracts from the entertainment.

An interesting concept, but, at least for me, not a very spectacular scripting of that concept. The film deals with the entanglements of three families. Sean Penn is a Math Professor dying from heart disease (presumably), Naomi plays a woman dealing with the sudden death of her husband and two girls, and Benicio is a born-again ex-con. The interesting concept is that of a heart transplant and how this affects the lives of those involved. But the film spends too little time on those nuances (although that time is well spent) and too much time on a less meaningful plot.

A puzzle at first, but by half way you may have figured it out, then it's a wait until the end. That said, each character's personal struggle with his or her course harsh reality is aptly realized.

Btw, 21 grams is supposedly the weight each of us loses upon dying.

  • 21 Grams. Copyright © 2003. Rated R. 125 minutes.
  • Starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall, Eddie Marsan.
  • Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
  • Screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga.
  • Produced by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Robert Salerno at Focus Features. This Is That/Y Prods.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:22:13 PDT