The novels of English author Nick Hornby have inspired such charming comedies as About A Boy, Fever Pitch and High Fidelity. Joining this list of lovely little films is A Long Way Down, a dark comedy about four people who meet and become friends at their lowest point.
In the trailer above, you can see A Long Way Down stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots as four desperate strangers all drawn to the same spot on New Year's Eve with plans of committing suicide. Based on Hornby's novel of the same name, the film will follow how these very different people become life-changing friends who help each other through not just this critical night, but also the various highs and lows that follow it.
The adapted screenplay was penned by Jack Thorne, an English television writer who has contributed to such series as Skins, Cast Offs, and The Fades. As you can see, Thorne has earned his reputation writing dramas, but A Long Way Down's levity can deftly be handled by director Pascal Chaumeil, who has previously helmed the French rom-coms A Perfect Plan with Dany Boon and Diane Kruger, and Heartbreaker with Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis
Thorne and Chaumeil are fortunate from the start as Hornby's novels have proved a pretty terrific base for engaging and bittersweet movies (and now a TV show). Adding to A Long Way Down's dazzle is a pretty spectacular cast. Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, plays Martin, a once-famous talk show host who has come across hard times and disgrace. Academy Award-nominated actress/chameleon Toni Collette takes on Maureen, a single mother pushed to her breaking point, a role that doesn't seem too far distanced from her character in her previous Hornby project, About a Boy. Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul is set for JJ, a struggling musician and the lone American in the bunch of Brits. Completing the central four is Imogen Poots as Jess, an 18-year-old girl with boundary issues and serious family problems. Adding sparkling support is Sam Neill as Jess's politician father, and Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike as a chipper TV personality.
Below you can get a sense of the central four's character's on the film's first poster.
While there's loads of charm in this trailer, I'm most excited for Imogen Poots. The English ingénue has been plugging along with supporting roles in Jane Eyre, That Awkward Moment, and Fright Night. And even when a movie is not very good--like her first collaboration with Aaron Paul on Need for Speed--she's often the best thing in it. At last it seems she is getting a script, role and cast that can make fitting use of her acting chops and charming screen presence. It's a relief and a joy to see.
A Long Way Down will be available on demand June 5th. A theatrical release will follow on July 11th.