Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Living 'til the End|
Actors: Sean Maher, Jamie Ray Newman, Janet Carroll, Steven Tobolowsky
Director: Amanda Goodwin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Being told by a psychic of his imminent death on his next birthday, Jack Whilton retreats to the safety of extreme agoraphobia in order to avoid his own death. All he has to do is wait out the year in his apartment-turn... more »
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Good Story Overcomes Gimmicks
Brian Kaufman | Laporte, Colorado USA | 01/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Living 'til the End" overcomes a quirky start to deliver a moving, unpredictable story. Jack Whilton is told by a fortune teller that death will inform his next birthday. The prediction plays into Jack's existing fear of death, and as the real story begins, Jack is hiding in his apartment, facing off against death with health shakes and a football helmet. He meets a tearful Audrey in the elevator, gripping her rejected novel manuscript. Audrey is dying, and Jack is a perfect companion, since he is an estate planner. An odd, edgy friendship ensues. Will Audrey chase Jack's agoraphobia? Will Audrey find peace before she dies?
Amanda Goodwin wrote, directed, edited and produced this movie. The result is impressive. I will watch for her future films.
The film boasts an excellent supporting cast, including Stephen Tobolowsky and John Getz. Sean Maher is convincing as a sensitive guy trying to overcome his fears.
Jamie Ray Newman grabs the screen from the moment she enters the story. The actress has an extraordinary face, which Goodwin wisely exploits with intimate close-ups. Newman sells Audrey's mood swings without compromising the story's turns.
Unlike similar films, including "Broken Flowers," and "Lost in Translation," the power of Goodwin's film comes from the interaction between the two main characters. Rather than set pieces followed by reaction shots, we see real give-and-take that makes the evolving relationship seem real.
My only real quibble with the movie is the ending, which struck me as uncharacteristically mean-spirited for a movie with a good heart and no villains."
Living Til The End
L Howard | Los Angeles, CA | 01/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A slam dunk first film by Amanda Goodwin! Living Til The End recalls the subtleties and thought provoking storytelling of movies like Garden State and Lost in Translation. Scenes between leads Sean Maher and Jamie Ray Newman ooze chemistry and complexity and the film beautifully unfolds to a climax that will leave you speechless. Living Til The End is surely just the beginning for this talented bunch."
WONDERFUL adult fable that lingers on long afterwards...
SteveHC1 | Florida | 01/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll spare you repetition of what others have already said about this lovely little film.
Yes, there is one particularly mishandled camera shot. Yes, it's an independent film made on a relatively low budget. Yes, it's theme of love and hope persevering through the difficulties of illness and other obstacles has been portrayed in countless made-for-tv films that we've all seen a million times on the Hallmark Channel (and/or Lifetime, Oxygen, etc.). But THIS one is different - VERY different.
Jaime Ray Newman's looks are as beautiful as is her acting ability, and in this film she's simply a sheer joy to watch. Although Sean Maher is equally good looking and has great acting skill, he may slightly over-act in his portrayal of lead character Jack Whilton - he occasionally reminds me of Jim Carey when he does - for all practical purposes the ENTIRE cast is exceptionally good, often brilliant. With the exception of that one mishandled shot, the scenes are all very engaging and shot in a way that helps capture and sustain your attention from beginning to end. The music is perfectly suited to the content. And although the ending has an ironic twist, when it comes upon you you will find yourself thinking that you won't be able to say that the film maker didn't warn you (and I'll just leave it at that, so as to not provide you with a "spoiler";-)
Even the PACE of this little movie is VERY good - a RARITY these days, even in BIG-budget films... which is indicative of good directing and producing. Which leads me to writer/director/co-producer Amanda Goodwin:
I always LOVE to see people rise up from the ranks of unknown actors in low-budget B (or even C) movies into the roles of screenwriter, director or producer. It tells me they LOVE movies and the craft of making them. This love is ESSENTIAL to truly fine, emotion-producing films that have a meaningful PURPOSE to their existence. ANYONE can make a technically proficient feature film. But VERY FEW people can make one that allows you to truly suspend your disbelief, believe in and actually CARE FOR if not love the characters and really FEEL for them and the situations that they find themselves in. This movie makes you feel like you want it to last LONGER, because you genuinely want to see MORE of the characters and their relationships with each other. Amanda Goodwin is the person who has accomplished all of this. If you take the time to watch this film and review her past work you will see what I mean.
Living 'Til the End is a fine piece of dramatic film making that creatively and engagingly portrays the extent to which our neurotically-driven "modern mental illnesses" so often get in the way of our finding and hanging on to true love, sometimes to tragic endings. It will linger in your mind long after you have seen it, and it's the kind of movie that you'll want to see more than once in order to explore the characters more deeply - their portrayals are THAT good. If you're looking for a really unique, sweet yet thoughtful and insightful drama about life, death, love and ADULT angst, I HIGHLY recommend THIS one."
Living 'til the end
J. Finlayson | Bris, Australia | 08/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is really great film. This Amanda Goodwin film has twists and turns all the way through, and while not a fast paced movie, keeps you involved and intrigued. Sean Maher puts in a fantastic performance, showing some amazing talent, along with Jamie Ray Newman.
If you're a Sean Maher fan like I am, this is a must see. However, for all those movie lovers out there, you will definitely enjoy this one!"