- Actors: James Franco, Rachel McAdams
- Director: Wim Wenders
- Format: Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Region: Region A/1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Unrated
- Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
- Release Date: June 7, 2016
- Run Time: 118 minutes
Despite the familiarity of the plot in Every Thing Will Be Fine, it manages to rustle up a few unique and compelling themes. Unfortunately, these are ideas which remain always on the cusp of the narrative, hinted at and briefly mentioned rather than delved into the way that audiences may desire. Director Wim Wenders instead invests most efforts into the visual style, attempting to bring audiences into the mind of the protagonist with the use of 3D photography. While we may at times feel as though we exist in the same world as its characters, rarely do we understand what they are thinking or feeling, and this is a glaring shortcoming of the film’s screenplay. Performances which could have been heartbreaking are instead enigmatic, and suddenly the visual effort is all for naught.
Without any of the dramatic tension or melodrama typically associated with films about a tragic event, Every Thing Will Be Fine tells the story of a writer named Tomas (James Franco) who must come to terms with feelings of guilt when he accidentally kills a young boy in a freak accident. Tomas stays in contact with the child’s mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg) over the decade following the tragedy, though this film is less about the relationships and more a character study of a writer whose career is ultimately fed by the painful moments of his life. If the relationships become significant through these years, it is only as they try to understand what makes Tomas tick.
The women of Tomas’ life don’t seem to have much luck with this, beginning with a failing relationship (Rachel McAdams) and ending with an ominously shaky marriage (Marie-Josée Croze). The only person who truly seems to understand the ways that Tomas benefits from hardship are those who attempt to understand him through his work as a writer. This includes Tomas’s editor (Peter Stormare), who respectfully capitalizes on the improvement of his writing following the accident, as well as the brother of the killed child, who grows to be an eerily resentful fan.
The ideas behind Every Thing Will Be Fine are compelling, raising questions about the connection between human suffering and the creative process, but the approach is so intentionally monotonous that none of the elements of filmmaking are particularly impressive. With such sparse dialogue, there is little opportunity for any of the actors to stretch themselves, and in the worst moments of the film they can often appear more as caricatures than fully developed humans. McAdams comes off the worst, trying to bring more to the brief role than most of the leads attempt with far more screen time. Perhaps it is her star power or maybe it was the uncomfortable attempt at an accent, but McAdams ends up sticking out like a sore thumb in her misguided efforts. The cinematography also is often beautiful, but often becomes more of a distraction than an asset to the overall ideas. In the end, despite the film taking place over a decade, the pace is so leisurely that one cannot help but wonder if the story would have worked better as a short film rather than a two-hour feature.
The Blu-ray release capitalizes on the visual spectacle of the cinematography. Even though it is presented in 2D, the depth of the 3D photography can still be felt. Unfortunately, this still does little to keep the blandly paced film engaging. The extras include interviews with select cast/crew members, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 4/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 4.5/10
Special Features: 4/10