Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Released June 6, 2014
2 hr 6 mins
Rated PG-13
Drama, Romance


Director: Josh Boone


Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster
Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters
Nat Wolff as Isaac
Laura Dern as Frannie Lancaster
Sam Trammell as Michael Lancaster
Mike Birbiglia as Patrick
Lotte Verbeek as Lidewij Vliegenthart
Willem Dafoe as Peter van Houten
Milica Govich as Mrs. Waters
David Whalen as Mr. Waters
Ana Dela Cruz as Dr. Maria
Emily Peachey as Monica
Emily Bach as Monica's mom


Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

Review by Stephen M.

There's something to be said about a movie that can draw out the raw emotions of a person and bring them to tears.  I heard about this movie, The Fault in Our Stars having such an effect but had not had a chance to watch it when there were screenings of it.  Catching it last week, I got to see what the hype was all about.  It is not only for the teenage fans of the book series, but a film that would move any one with tears despite knowing the outcome somewhat from the start.

The last time we saw Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort together were as brothers and sisters in another movie based on a novel, Divergent.  In The Fault in Our Stars they play love interests Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters.  A much more challenging role for the pair, we get to see much more of Ansel in this film as compared to Divergent.  Both are splendid in their roles as teens who each has or are going through their own health complications.  Augustus having had his leg amputated to avoid cancer from spreading from his leg when afflicted with osteosarcoma, while Hazel suffering from Thyroid cancer often has breathing difficulties.  They meet at a support group that Hazel's parents have her join, while Augustus is there to support a friend who must have his remaining eye removed due to a tumor growing.  Yes, very heavy stuff.

The two young actors more than rises to the occasion in this movie.  Helped by a well written plot with witty dialogue between the characters.  The touch of characters bubbles per se for their text messages to each other is a nice touch.  While the topic of chronic illness and terminal cancer is a heavy subject, the Director and Writer never goes so far to show the frailty of a person in the final days as far as physical appearances.  Yes we see the character relegated to a wheelchair, but yet the character's facial features retain most of the muscular structure.  So yes, they do sugar coat some things.

 Overall, I enjoyed this film.  Despite the sadness that surrounds their illness, there's a lot to learn about life and love from the film that will have you smiling as well.  Because of the subject of the film I would not bring young children to it despite not having any full nudity.  Also of note is the performance of Willem Dafoe as Peter van Houten.  Peter is an author of a book that Hazel obsesses over and shares with Augustus.  They journey to Amsterdam to meet him to ask him questions about what happens after the book.  Needless to say things don't go as plan.  Needless to say, this movie was quite the pleasant surprise.  Go watch it if you haven't already and cry your eyes out.


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