Life as a house (2001)

Directed by Irwin Winkler

Starring Kevin Kline, Hayden Christensen, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Jena Malone. 

This is an old film, but it is truly a good film. I remember I rented it without even seeing a trailer and I ended up loving the film. It has a powerful story that is completely moving. 

George Monroe is an architectural model fabricator, who has an estranged relationship with his son who is a rebel and addicted to drugs. George collapses outside his job and he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He decides to rebuild his house and enlists his son in hopes of mending his relationship with him. That would prove a difficult task but little by little George would reach his son and leave a legacy behind in him. 

Even writing about the film makes me emotional because it is a powerful film. When we see Sam and his destructive life and just how little he loved himself. We get to see how little by little the changes and how he begins to mend his relationships with his family. I like the way they did it, George reached his son slowly and in a believable way. Since we get to see Sam reach so many low places, we feel the joy of seeing the changes in his life. 

Kevin Kline was perfect as George, his performance is funny and moving. Why was he ignored for at least an Oscar nomination I don’t know.  Hayden also was very good in this film, I know people often criticized for his performance in Star Wars, but in this film, he was really good. His performance felt so real and genuine. Kirsten Scott Thomas played the role of Sam’s mother and George’s ex-wife. She also played the role beautifully. The supporting cast was very good, Jena Malone and Mary Steenburgen played George’s neighbors, both are essential in the story. 

This is one film that even though is old I strongly recommend it. The movie for me went overlooked but is one great film.

2 thoughts on “Life as a house (2001)

  1. I remember watching this movie too. I agree, it is very emotional and touching as we watch the healing process, not just between father and son, but also within each one as an individual. I also like the metaphor of a house being a life.


    1. Yeah, I liked what the house represented in the movie and how everyone around it benefited and changed. One of my favorite movies.


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