Beauty is borne out of suffering.
This is the durable thematic thread connecting the three films The Lovely Bones, Crazy Heart, and A Single Man.
In The Lovely Bones, Susie Salmon discovers beauty in the "in-between," and in the life she left behind after she is mercilessly raped and murdered, just as her family rediscovers the beauty of human existence in the wake of such personal tragedy.
"Bad" Blake learns the importance, the beauty of life and human connections in Crazy Heart as he works toward salvation from a state of enduring misery, while his savior-of-sorts, Jean Craddock, sees Blake's beauty beneath tumult and turmoil.
A Single Man occurs over a mere 24 hours, though during this time, George considers his entire life-- his past, his present, and the potentials of his future-- and finds respite from his grief in the beauty of life, even as it is defiled by death.
Each film explores the surprisingly intimate relationship between beauty and pain-- each to varying degrees of success-- showing that even in the most dire of circumstances, our world is a treasure trove of beauty for all of humanity to discover and to share.
Of course, each film also has its weaknesses. The Lovely Bones and A Single Man suffer from the heavy hands of their respective directors, while Crazy Heart doesn't quite find enough to say. Ultimately, all three films make strong statements of beauty but also stumble and disengage from their purposes along the way-- just as life itself has moments of stunning clarity, moments of evident beauty, that go hand-in-hand with the blurs of troublesome times.
Read my FULL REVIEWS of all three films...
AT THE DAGGER!