Thursday, April 8, 2021

Like A House On Fire Review: A Beautiful and Bittersweet Drama

Sarah Sutherland	...	Dara Jared Abrahamson	Jared Abrahamson	...	Danny Dominique Provost-Chalkley	Dominique Provost-Chalkley	...	Therese Amanda Brugel	Amanda Brugel	...	Audrey Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Michael Buchanan	Michael Buchanan	...	Bruce Kayla Hutton	Kayla Hutton	...	Bernice Ethan Lefebvre-Bray	Ethan Lefebvre-Bray	...	Kid with Whiskers Hubert Lenoir	Hubert Lenoir	...	Jordan

Release date: March 30, 2021
Running time: 85 minutes
Directed and Written by: Jesse Noah Klein
Starring: Sarah Sutherland, Jared Abrahamson, Dominique Provost-Chalkley 

Dara (Sutherland) returns home to reconnect with her husband Danny (Abrahamson) and her young daughter, whom she left two years earlier. When she arrives, she discovers that a woman who is seven months pregnant has taken her place and that her daughter no longer recognizes her. Like A House On Fire tells the story of a woman's struggle to regain the life she left behind.

Sheila McCarthy	...	Katherine Yanna McIntosh	Yanna McIntosh	...	Nancy Erin Noble	Erin Noble	...	Ms Shaw Kelly Reich	Kelly Reich	...	Department Store Cashier Michael Riley	Michael Riley	...	Jack Tracy Rowland	Tracy Rowland	...	Cosmetician Sienna Summer Desbiens	Sienna Summer Desbiens	...	Little Girl in Park Margaux Vaillancourt	Margaux Vaillancourt	...	Isabel
Sometimes a movie just comes around that avoids the trap of overdoing drama and just does everything right.  Like A House On Fire is a drama about one woman's return home after an extended absence.  And although she had grown and changed in her time away, she expected the world around her to not.  Her return is bittersweet as she returns to the people and places in her life, but doesn't necessarily slot back in to where she was.  Starting with the cast, Sarah Sutherland does a great job as Dara, in a role that is difficult in its simplicity.  She has to play a character that is dealing with the harsh reality of the world moving on without her.  But she does this with a care and nuance that you don't normally see.  There are not overly dramatic Hollywood moments; just a person trying to regain the life that she willingly left.  And Abrahamson is likewise great as her husband who is dealing with very conflicting emotions.  He still cares for her but has moved on with his life.  He has some truly poignant lines in this film as he grapples with both his old emotions but also his new life and responsibilities.

And what I love most about this film is that it is so understated in what it does.  I can imagine a version of this movie that tries to pile on the drama, the intrigue, the guilt, and the pain to paint a vivid but unrealistic picture of this situation.  Like A House On Fire has plenty of drama and pain, but it does so in a way that is natural and realistic.  It doesn't have to force you to feel these emotions because it does it in a way that is relatable and grounded.  Like A House On Fire has a slow burning story that doesn't try to grab your attention.  There are no tricks or gimmicks here; the film is dramatic and slow and very well done.  

And in the end, I also loved that this film is bittersweet.  Like life, sometimes you don't get a Hollywood ending, and you have to work hard and work slowly to regain what you've lost.  Like A House On Fire depicts this in a beautiful, compact, and realistic way, touching on mental illness, personal growth, and past traumas without going over the top.  And like life, it doesn't necessarily work out perfectly, but it definitely has moments of joy and beauty.

Like A House On Fire is a lot like life: beautiful, painful, and bittersweet; it has all the components you want in a great drama while still feeling relatable and down to earth.

Watch it.

Luke Black	...	associate producer Fanny Drew	...	producer Mark Gingras	...	associate producer Amanda MacDonald	...	associate producer Sarah Mannering	...	producer Alona Metzer	...	associate producer Jeanne-Marie Poulain	...	associate producer William Woods	...	producer    Directed by  Jesse Noah Klein	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Jesse Noah Klein
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Like A House On Fire is available digitally and on demand on March 30, 2021. 

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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