While I realize it is likely a way this film has been described before, it has to be said: Remember takes the intoning of “Never Forget” to a whole new level.
It may also be my favorite film by director Egoyan (Where the Truth Lies) despite his large opus and this rather large departure from his typical stories. This newest entry still maintains his trademark abilities, however. It is fluid, cohesive, and an emotional bombshell, but generally without being at all manipulative. He is adept at getting out of the way of the story and his performers. Egoyan also had an impressive script by first-time author August to work with; well crafted, tight, layered, true to its characters, and beautifully constructed. There is a reason this film won multiple awards this year and last, though it was oddly ignored by Oscar.
But a large part of the success of this story is, without question, the cast. Christopher Plummer (Danny Collins) and Martin Landau lead this odd tale that is part Youth, part Memory of a Killer, but wholly its own thing. These two great treasures of stage and screen quietly wring the story dry while being more vulnerable than I’ve ever seen them in a role. In short, they capture the end of these characters’ lives with all the talent they have to bare.
In addition to the well-known leads State-side, there are older, international stars who lend credibility to the integral, minor roles. Chief among these are Bruno Ganz, Heinz Lieven, and Jürgen Prochnow. In addition, Dean Norris gets to help fill out the story.
Do not read the blurbs of the film, just settle in for the ride on faith, or my promise that you won’t be disappointed. It has its disturbing moments, but the experience and the chance to see these performances is worth any level of discomfort (and there really isn’t much on balance).