Not Suited for Cinema – Review of Brain on Fire


Her parents – a cool turn by Carrie-Anne Moss contrasts with lots of strident shouting from Richard Armitage – keep the pressure on the medics to try and find the reason for Susannah’s sudden deterioration.

13 thoughts on “Not Suited for Cinema – Review of Brain on Fire

  1. Well, I can’t “like” that review of “Brain on Fire”. But if the critic thinks that the film is over the top, so is her review. I actually would have liked a bit more analysis–concrete examples to back up her claims–rather than the sweeping generalizations given in the critique. The Armitage “shouting” comes to mind. We’ll have to see.

    Shirley MacLaine “shouting” desperately to the nurses for her daughter’s pain medicine in “Terms of Endearment” was poignant and spot on and won her an Oscar. So “shouting” as an acting choice shouldn’t necessarily be ruled out.

    Anyone who has ever balanced on the knife edge of a family member’s terminal illness, understands that desperation to make their loved one as comfortable as possible for their remaining time on this Earth. Or in the case of Susan Cahalan’s Dad, him trying to get her the help she needs so she can live. You have to be your loved one’s fierce advocate ,and not let the medical establishment run over you.


  2. It’s an interesting dilemma — is the reviewer critical of shouting per se, or of how shouting is used in this film? Tom Cahalan strikes me as the kind of man who’s inclined to shout anyway. I’ll have to see it again to judge more fully, but I think there’s an argument here that the shouting escalates too quickly, leaving the character nowhere to go as he needs to shout more and more. On the other hand, it seems on some level realistic. And also frightening. Not sure.


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