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"All Is Bright" is a pretty ironic title for this movie in which nothing is ever very 'bright'. It perhaps is one of the 'darkest' and most depressing Christmas movies out there, which normally isn't something I would complain about but I strongly believe that the movie was still trying to be an uplifting one as well and in that regard I just can't call this movie a very successful one.

I think I can see and understand what this movie was trying to do and achieve with its story and approach but it isn't ever really working out. It of course really isn't anything that weird or uncommon for a Christmas to feature some heavy and dramatic themes in it. They however usually feature these heavy and dramatic themes in them to create a contrast with its usually happy and uplifting ending, in which everything gets resolved and the characters often redeem themselves. Movies about the classic Christmas spirit and the magic of it. This movie however has far too many downs in it, even right till its very end and even when it's trying to feature some ups and become an uplifting movie, it still mostly feels like a dark and heavy, serious movie, despite all its hard efforts.

So basically all this movie is is one that features a bunch of dramatic moments and depressing characters in it, to say things simply. It just isn't the most interesting or engaging thing to watch and the movie is offering little else with its story. Every time you think that something is going to develop into something interesting and potentially heartwarming, the movie is going into a completely different direction again with things, or it just simply decides to drop certain plot lines.

The movie is also trying very hard to be a quirky one at times and feature some relieving comedy in it as well. But again, this isn't always working out, due to the dark and overall serious tone and atmosphere of the movie as a whole. It isn't a very well balanced movie unfortunately.

I'm still not hating too much on the movie though. Even though it fails at what it's trying to achieve as a movie, it still isn't a terrible or even remotely bad to watch one either. It still has plenty of quality to it and it's obvious to me that director Phil Morrison is a good storyteller, even though he made some poor- or at times simply no decisions with this particular movie its story. The movie still has a pleasant flow to it and despite the fact that not always an awful lot is happening in it, it absolutely never becomes a tiresome or overlong movie to watch.

Also nothing wrong with the acting in this. As you would expect, Paul Giamatti is great in his role as a frustrated and slightly depressed man, who is down on his luck. Paul Rudd is also quite good, though he's really just playing second fiddle in this. It's all about the Paul Giamatti character really, which I'm not complaining too much about though.

Not the type of movie to get you in the Christmas spirit but it's nevertheless watchable enough one, if you are into dramas.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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