Its 3:24 am
Its been a while since the cheetah and I have posted a IFC review and as many of you know,IFC Films are my favorite ones to watch and collect. I have been staring at “The Ledge” for quite a while now and decided it was high time that we watched it…..
Hollis Lucetti (Terrence Howard) is having a rough day,he just found out that he is sterile and has been been all of his life. That of itself is a nasty blow but Hollis is married with two kids and know the world he knows is flipped over….just in time for him to arrive at his job as a police detective and get a call about a potential jumper.
Hollis responds to the call and there he meets Gavin Nichols (Charlie Hunnam). Hollis takes this as a normal suicide case but quickly realizes that Gavin is here againist his own will. He tells Hollis that if he doesn’t jump by noon,someone else is going to die.
He then proceeds to tell his story…..
Gavin works a supervisor at a big hotel and shares an apartment with his friend Chris (Christopher Gorham) who happens to be gay. The two friends are very close and support each other.
As Gavin and Chris are headed to work one morning,they meet their new neighbors Joe (Patrick Wilson) and Shana (Liv Tyler) who are conservative Christians. Joe invites Gavin and Chris over for dinner and they accept.
At the hotel Gavin is surprised to see Shana has come in after applying for a job and after a quick interview,Gavin hires her.
At the dinner,Joe prays aloud and asks God to show Gavin and Joe the “light”,he thinks they are a gay couple. Gavin takes offense to Joe’s prayer and the two men argue shortly about faith before Gavin leaves before eating,Chris stays a little longer before he leaves as well. As it turns out,Gavin is a athiest and doesn’t believe in God but how he is able to shutdown Joe’s arguments shows at one time that he did.
The next day Shana comes across Gavin comforting one of the housekeepers by praying with her and she is touched by his compassion.
Gavin and Shana begin to draw closer together and Shana explains her relationship with Joe,she used to be a hooker and a drug addict and after being beaten and left for dead in a church,Joe found her and helped her recover and get clean. She feels indebted but at the same time,Joe is completely controlling and borderline abusive.
Back on the ledge Hollis’s wife is trying to make contact with him and we see how Hollis,after learning the news about his being sterile,comes home and confronts his wife.
She very tearfully explains how much she loves Hollis and how much she wanted a family with him. She had suspected something was wrong with him as she couldn’t get pregnant and she found out why but didn’t tell Hollis. What she tells Hollis just shakes him to his core. He is clearly distressed and Gavin picks up on it and tries to get Hollis to tell him his story. The two men continue to talk as Hollis encourages Gavin to come off the ledge because its now after 11:00 am.
Instead Gavin resumes his story….Shana and Gavin get closer and start having an affair. It is then Gavin shares with Shana his reason for losing his faith and it is a heartbreaking story and one Gavin is haunted by.
Joe then finds out about the affair and begins following his wife,when hears her and Gavin having sex,he decides to act. He kidnaps Shana and then confronts Gavin….and forces Gavin to make a choice,either Gavin jumps or Joe will kill Shana….
Now with time running out Hollis must unlock this puzzle in order to save not only Gavin but himself as well…..
This is such a good movie,it has everything a great thriller has to have- a solid story,great performances and a director who isn’t afraid to trust his cast and “The Ledge” has all of that.
Writer-director Matthew Chapman said he wrote “The Ledge” as the first feature film to be considered a pro-athiest movie being as Chapman is openly athiest himself.
While he may have wrote the story that way,his actors didn’t really PLAY it that way.
Charlie Hunnam’s Gavin is a tragic figure,despite his flippant and at times caustic manner,Gavin Nichols really does care about people and it shows in his interactions with everyone but Joe. I have personally known a few athiests in my life and never once would they have pretended to have Christian faith and pray with someone,no matter what the situation. I think Gavin used to have faith until a incident caused him to doubt it. The ending of the movie proves that Gavin’s faith was always there,it just needed a nudge to come back.
Terrence Howard is always so good in ANYTHING he does,he can play role to perfection and Patrick Wilson is a mirror image of him. Both men can play the sweetest,most caring character one minute and be completely ruthless and calculating the next. Hollis’s heart and his emotions are on full display as he is talking Gavin on the ledge and realzing on some level that Gavin is him if he can’t come to grips with what his wife has done is masterful.
While Wilson could have played Joe as a typical holy roller religious nut,he actually gave Joe a real soul and you really feel sorry for a man who wanted to do the right thing by living a simple life but allowed his narrow mindedness to blind him. Joe isn’t very likable but is he a bad person?
Liv Tyler’s Shana was pretty scary as she shows almost zero emotion and starts to come across as a sociopath,its a chilling performance actually and an effective one. It isn’t until the end of the film that her thick shell is cracked and she is able to release years of bottled up hurt,pain and loss.
“The Ledge” is rated “R” and a run time of 1 hr 41 minutes. The special features are outstanding with several indepth interviews with cast and crew.
As always,IFC Films has delivered another great movie and the cheetah and I highly recommend “The Ledge”. Its a 8 year old film so it might be best if you just bought it on the IFC Films website.
We gave this movie two thumbs/4 paws straight up.
Seen an indie film lately? Drop a comment below and share what you saw.
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