Finding Peace Outside of the Furnace (review)

An all star cast including Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, and Forest Whitaker tackle the new movie Out of the Furnace. During the Oscar season, it’s the kind of movie that one might think, with such a cast, that may turn heads, but from what I saw I have my doubts. It’s a movie that seems to matter of fact it’s way to a docile ending.

The story follows Russell, Bale, as a honest, hardworking mill worker trying to take care of himself and those he loves. He looks in on his ailing father, watches his military brother, Affleck, going from tour to tour and his almost too perfect girlfriend, Saldana. Life although hard, it seems he is at peace, yet this movie doesn’t seem to let anything stay that way long.

Russell makes one mistake and loses his world and ending up in jail. When he finally comes out, it’s just him and his in debt brother. His brother appears the kind that struggles to stay on the right side of things, or like none of the other characters in the movie, he can’t find peace. After his brother disappears, Russell goes to get justice he feels the law can’t provide.

This is a movie about family, justice, self and finding peace. Almost all of the characters, although making it through life, seem to struggle with their situation and try to find peace. Life has a way of taking something good and tearing it away, but is it a movie about that? At times the matter of fact nature of the story telling leaves the audience feeling disconnected. When we should want to jump up and help Russell find his brother and get justice, we just sit back and say, yeah we know what will happen.

An Oscar contender, I can’t say but I’d take a guess and say not. I think although we understand Russell and his motives, we aren’t connected and engaged to it in anyway. The movie left me feeling indifferent. I though yeah it was an ok movie and the acting was moderate, but I didn’t feel challenged or like the actors pushed themselves for greatness. I guess in the end, I felt much like the characters, unable to find peace with it.


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