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|Originaltitel:||You are not you|
|Regie:||George C. Wolfe|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 102 Min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
It's not long ago that Kate (Hilary Swank) was a celebrated concert pianist. But since she received the shocking diagnosis one and a half years ago that she suffers from the nervous disease ALS, in her once so perfect life nothing is as it was. She has long been in need of help in almost all areas of everyday life and although her husband Evan (Josh Duhamel) cares for her lovingly, this is no longer enough. Although she resisted it for a long time, Kate has to admit that she needs a nurse. Evan first attributes Kate's stubbornness to the fact that she chooses the inexperienced and chaotic Bec (Emmy Rossum). But although Bec doesn't seem to fit into her world at all, a very special relationship soon develops between the two women. While Kate finds something like joie de vivre in her nurse's unadjusted, humorous manner, Bec also seems to finally find a foothold in her life through the discipline and responsibility demanded of her. But both women know that their time together does not last long...
With "Happiness at my Side" director George C. Wolfe ("The Smile of the Stars") has staged an extremely manipulative emotional cinema. He does not subtly proceed in his effort to press on the tear ducts of his audience. And even though he sometimes misses the kitsch pretty damn close, the story of an unusual women's friendship works surprisingly well in the face of death. On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that the story, whenever it threatens to become too sentimental, is always loosened up by somewhat reserved humour. But first and foremost the success of the drama is probably due to the two leading actresses. Of course Hilary Swank is in the foreground as a dying pianist. Because their role requires not only talent on a dramaturgical level, but also a high degree of physical commitment. As Kate loses more and more control over her body due to the illness, Swank plays just as convincingly as the feeling of shame and humiliation, which increases more and more the more she has to be helped by Evan or Bec even in very intimate moments.
However, only through the enormous contrast to the figure of the chaotic Bec can all the strengths of the game of the two-time Oscar winner fully unfold. And that's clearly owed to Emmy Rossum. Surely, her figure is a slightly exaggerated cliché and especially at the beginning her lack of sense of responsibility, punctuality or politeness is simply selfish and exhausting. But the more this facade crumbles, the clearer it becomes how important a person like Bec is for Kate in this difficult, last phase of her life. Through the relationship between the two unequal women, the way out of life is made easier for one, while the other finally seems to find support and meaning in her. And that's exactly what makes this movie so moving and worth seeing, despite some clichés and too thickly applied moments.
However, it has to be said that the movie doesn't necessarily look like a movie production, but rather like a good TV-cost. This is not necessarily to be judged negatively, as the quality of television productions has improved steadily in recent years. But it's just that the movie doesn't have to be seen on a big screen to fully unfold its emotional effect. Those who love moving US dramas with a little bit of humour, a lot of heart and a pinch of kitsch can still invest the money for the cinema ticket. All the others can confidently wait for home cinema exploitation or TV broadcasting. But that doesn't change the deserved result, and it is quite clear: Worth seeing!
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