14 June 2024
Read The Almond And The Seahorse review

Film Review – The Almond And The Seahorse (2024)

Beginning immaculately melancholy, there’s a lot more of the same all the way through this adapted play teetering on multiple emotions including connecting the dots of life, adapting to change whilst at the core is responding to getting older.

Known mostly for physical pratfalls, comedic unpredictability, motormouth improvisations, Australian superstar Rebel Wilson is quietly convincing in her feature dramatic debut as Sarah.

She and fellow lost soul Toni (Charlotte Gainsbourg) are dealing with partners suffering from advancing memory loss due to a brain tumor removal and car accident. The pair also occasionally sleep together sharing comfort and stories.

The title refers to the shapes of the amygdala (almond) and hippocampus (seahorse) involved in the cerebral interference causing both partners particular brain damage. It’s a tough distraught subject with sadness overwhelming throughout.

Sarah loves her husband Joe (Celyn Jones) with all her heart, on a regular basis he randomly references children or having a baby, supposedly recalled from before surgery, but as soon as he mentions them, he forgets, or repeats.

Joe does have a journal with his own hand written explanations to diagnosis, whilst Sarah supplies reminders and voice recordings assisting routines.

Agitation is slightly different for Toni, her testing times with cello playing partner Gwen (Trine Dyrholm) involve a tragic circumstance as her memory seems frozen in time, thus making their connection all the more heart-breaking.

Depth is a problem, as melodramatic as it is, acting all round is good value.

I’ve always thought musician thespian Gainsbourg was an incredible performer, especially in Lars Von Trier duel opus of 2013, Nymphomaniac part1, part 2; she’s underlying brilliance here as Toni.
Showing esteem grappling with high drama, Rebel has a definite future in this serious genre. I cried at a certain moment near the end, a nice wrap up tenfold.

Esteemed screen veteran, Meera Syal (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger – 2010) is effective as abrupt, caring Dr. Falmer.

Multitasking Celyn Jones, remains interesting as Joe, he also co-wrote the screenplay with Kaite O’Reilly based on her play and co-directs alongside Tom Stern. The Almond and the Seahorse, mounts up to a wiley look at extracting personal sadness.

★★ 1/2

Drama | UK, 2022 | 15 |Cinema | Picnik Entertainment | Dir.Celyn Jones, Tom Jones |Rebel Wilson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trine Dyrholm, Celyn Jones, Meera Syal, Ruth Madeley, Alice Lowe, Meera Syal

Follow Shane A. Bassett on Twitter @Movie_Analyst

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