In an era of crazy medical ethics and weakened family life, the sci-fi thriller Self/less is the perfect date night movie. A rich elderly man rebels against his fatal cancer diagnosis and sets up a change reaction of miserable events among an Army family with a sick child. This film is a special interest to Christians because it rises questions of meaningful suffering, sacrifice, the emptiness of wealth, and the importance of the family.
Self/less blends original plot twists with solid acting. Ryan Reynolds, the film lead, is not a new actor, but his intense performance as the film's lead made the film feel thoughtful and exploratory, instead of a grown-up version of "Freaky Friday." Fans of "Downtown Abbey" will be thrilled to see cameo apperances by Mary Crawley, I mean Michelle Dockery, and Good Wife fans will see Matthew Goode turn in his best acting preformance since "Brideshead Revisited."
Self/less is not a perfect Christian movie. There is a lot of graphic violence with more intensity than most spy movies. There are some nude scenes with pre-maital sex in the early movie scene. I'm ususally pretty squimish about both those issues. What saved this movie for me was the intense philosophical discussion about medical ethics, class, and the importance of meaningful family connections which underscored the entire structure of this film.
After I watched Self/less I felt more hopeful about the future of movie making. Self/less is written by two Spanish brothers who asked some interesting questions after first learning about the cancer diagnosis of Steve Jobs from Apple. The brothers asked "What if Steve Job's money could by him a new body? What would that world look like?" Here is an interesting interview by the writers behind Self/less.
Self/less in currently in movie theaters. I'm so grateful that my local theater has cheap Sunday tickets. Hope to meet you at the movies soon!