A Long Way Down (2014)

A Long Way Down
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Writer: Jack Thorne
Based on: Nick Hornby‘s novel
Cast: Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Sam Neill

Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides that he’s had enough. On New Year’s Eve he heads to Topper’s House to throw himself off the roof there. But Topper’s House is a popular spot for suicide and so he meets Jess (Imogen Poots), J.J. (Aaron Paul) and Maureen (Toni Collette) who have had the same plan. Instead of following through, circumstances let’s the four of them make a pact that they’ll wait until Valentine’s Day with it.

A Long Way Down is sweet, even if a little inconsequential. But it does have its heart in the right place.


Suicide is a topic that has been covered in (popular) culture surprisingly often – but usually with a whole lot of romantisizing. Either of the suicide itself (making it a noble act) or of the solution to it (they just needed love to make everything ok again!). A Long Way Down doesn’t fall in either of those traps, which was extremely nice.

Instead the characters all have their issues and their newfound companionship with each other doesn’t solve those issues – it’s a stabilizing factor. And they need to change some things about their lives, they need to get better by themselves and only when that happens, are they able to really engage in relationships, whether platonic or romantic.

Trip of a lifeline … A Long Way DownThat’s a pretty good message for the movie to have. And it has strong characters to tell its story with that I really liked and cared about. But at the same time, the film keeps it light. The really harsh things are glossed over, the problems are shown in their beginnings and then there’s a cut and people are suddenly better, the hard slosh through the muck to get to this better place is not something this movie actually cares to go through with them. Which is of course a valid choice and makes for a much more entertaining movie than it would have been otherwise. But especially because the ground work was done so nicely, it would have been interesting to see it.

In any case, the way you go together with the characters is touching and heartfelt and comes with a great cast who give their characters life and the relationships between them a lot of meaning. I enjoyed it.

alongwaydown2Summarizing: It almost makes me want to read Hornby’s novel, though I’m not much of a Hornby-fan, it’s that cute.

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