Director: Lone Scherfig
Writer: Lone Scherfig (Screenplay)
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Esben Smed, Jack Fulton, Finlay Wojtak0Hissong, Andrea Riseborough, Jay Baruchel, Caleb Landry Jones, Bill Nighy
Plot: The story of people whose lives intertwine during a dramatic winter in New York City.
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Kindness of Stranger starts as we meet Clara (Kazan) who is looking to escape her abusive husband, with their child Anthony and Jude, using New York to hide from him, finding herself in the homeless community, one of the helpers in this community is Alice (Riseborough) spending her spare time helping the less fortunate.
Clara struggles are just one story, as we see how John Peter (Baruchel) is helping his clients Marc (Rahim) overcome his own feeling of regret, and Jeff (Jones) a man whose is always left uncertain, but finds his own life turned around by the kindness offered to him.
Thoughts on The Kindness of Strangers
Characters & Performances – Clara has been trapped in her abusive relationship for years now, she has seen her children attacked by her husband, which will see her taking the chance to escape him, leaving the three of them homeless in New York, trying everything to keep them safe, while being stricken by fear. Zoe Kazan is excellent in this leading role, showing the pain and suffering that she is going through, making us understand what is going on. Alice is a nurse that also runs a support group and helps at a homeless shelter, she gives plenty of time to help people, always looking to show the kindness in people, even if it is taking a lot more out of her. Andrea Riseborough does give us the character that is filled with the most strength on the service, but broken inside. Marc is a man that is haunted by a decision that will stick with him forever, he is left in a support group, where he doesn’t want to talk to anyone about the issues, he ends up offering Clara help through her own struggle, needing to help people to help himself. Jeff is a man that is given a chance to recover his life by Alice, always helping out at the church, making people feel welcome. We have a wonderful supporting cast that helps complete this cast of wonderful performers.
Story – The story here follows a group of people that end up intertwining to help each other find the motivation to find kindness to help people when they are most in need. This story shows us how lives will always be more complicated that you would imagine and people will need to learn to show kindness to feel better themselves and help people in need. The issues are very serious with how life can get turned upside and you could have everything and lose it all in an instant
Themes – The Kindness of Strangers using the setting of New York to show how the busy lives will always be kept secret from many others around, show the best and worst of what life could offer.
Final Thoughts – The Kindness of Strangers is an emotional movie that shows people could work together to achieve a better life for everyone.