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PFF31 Review: Causeway

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CAUSEWAY (2022) (PFF31)

Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry shine in every scene of Causeway, but there isn’t much meat on the bone when it comes to plot.

In Causeway, a soldier (Lawrence) returns home from deployment and struggles to adjust back to her life. Any opportunity to explore the emotional depths of these characters is strangely avoided by director Lila Neugebauer, who clearly has an eye for practical settings that elevate the story, but doesn’t have much to work with in terms of script. Lawrence is at her best with roles like this with her ability to dive into her characters and embody them through and through. Brian Tyree Henry is similarly talented and that’s on fill display here, his character serving as the much-needed comic relief at times. But as much as they may try, we only see the broken pieces of each of the characters without ever investigating them and putting them back together.

There is a lot left unexplored in Causeway; I would have liked to have seen more of Lawrence’s character’s backstory to fully emphasize with her. What we do get is an exercise in patience due to the slow-moving plot development that never quite reaches a destination. While the film should be commended for shining light on the challenges faced by those returning from service, it doesn’t do much with that after the beginning scenes. From there on, we are treated to superb acting that sadly doesn’t have a solid foundation to stand on.

Causeway hits limited theaters and Apple TV+ Friday.

Rating: 2/5

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