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Archive for October 17th, 2010

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron), is in control of his life, he has just graduated from high school and will be going to Stanford University on a sailing scholarship. Before he leaves he agrees to play baseball with his Red Sox obsessed brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan) every day until he leaves. Later that day they are involved in a car accident where Sam is killed. Charlie also appears to be dead as his heart stops but paramedic, Florio Ferrente (Ray Liotta) refuses to give up and revives him. At his brothers funeral Charlie runs into the woods where he finds Sam waiting for the promised baseball practice. Is it a ghost/spirit or an hallucination? Whatever it is Charlie can’t let go and five years later we find he as given up his scholarship and is now caretaker at the cemetery. Somewhat detached from real life Charlie goes through the motions of daily life until Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew) comes to town. Tess, is a former classmate of Charlie’s and a yachtswoman about to embark on a solo round the world yacht race.

The spoilers above can all be seen in the trailer, it is probably best I don’t say any more plot away. Zac Efron has been a worldwide star ever since his appearance in the High School Musical movies, having not seen any of them my only experience of the young actor was a brief appearance in an episode of Firefly playing Simon Tam in a flashback. Then last year in Me and Orson Welles he proved what a talented young actor he is. Although it hasn’t been a huge fanatical success Charlie St. Cloud won’t do his reputation as an actor any harm. The supporting cast is good particularly Amanda Crew who has good chemistry with Efron. Kim Basinger is criminally underused with her part amounting to little more than a cameo, the same could be said for Liotta. The film is really well shot especially the sailing scenes.

The plot is overly simple and the movie as a whole is sappy and predicable, the dialogue is poor and sometimes cringe-worthy, the story offers absolutely nothing new, interesting or profound but it is all well constructed and well acted. The central existential message is overt and the plot is full of clichΓ©s but is elevated from because of a charismatic performance from Efron.

Three Stars out of Five

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