• Publication date: November 10, 2011

With Every Loss Comes a New Beginning Things We Lost in the Fire: Starting Over is Never Easy

The beautiful Halle Berry portrays Audrey Burke, a mourning widow who has recently lost her husband, Brian (David Duchovny) in a senseless act of violence. While visiting his best friend, Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), Brian encountered a man brutally beating a woman; true to his caring nature, Burke intervened and attempted to stop the attacker. The man retaliated by shooting Brian and wounding him fatally.

The beautiful Halle Berry portrays Audrey Burke, a mourning widow who has recently lost her husband, Brian (David Duchovny) in a senseless act of violence. While visiting his best friend, Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), Brian encountered a man brutally beating a woman; true to his caring nature, Burke intervened and attempted to stop the attacker. The man retaliated by shooting Brian and wounding him fatally.

After her husband's death, Audrey was left to care for two children independently: 10-year-old daughter Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) and 6-year-old son Dory (Micah Berry). The burden was overwhelming for her, though comfort would arrive unexpectedly through Jerry. While he was indeed Brian's closest companion, Jerry was also a struggling heroin addict, whose dependency ruined his career in law. Inseparable friends since childhood, Brian visited Jerry regularly and encouraged him to join a twelve-step program.

Knowing how much Brian loved Jerry, and realizing that he was likely to relapse without proper support, Audrey invited the troubled man to live with her. At first Dory and Harper were cold toward their guest, but in time viewed him as a surrogate father. Similarly, though Audrey had no romantic intentions with Jerry, he did become a stand-in husband of sorts, even at one point sleeping in the same bed to innocently comfort his host.

As Jerry grew closer to the children, their mother's jealously increased and eventually exploded. Subsequently Jerry left, became depressed, and relapsed once again. In Audrey's heart, however, she realized Brian would disapprove of her callousness. More importantly, perhaps, Jerry would be disappointed that Audrey abandoned someone he cherished so dearly. Alongside her brother Neal (Omar Benson Miller), Audrey searches for Jerry, apologizes for her actions, and offers to take him in once again. From this point forward the relationship develops into something much more complicated and unexpected than a mere romantic fling.

Things We Lost in the Fire was not a blockbuster by any means, but it did raise the eyebrows of numerous critics. Among them were Roger Ebert who stated, "The movie is an engrossing melodrama, and it has its heart in the right place." Similarly James Berardinelli wrote, "Things We Lost in the Fire deals frankly and openly with the wounds � some obvious, some not so obvious � that are left by the tragic, untimely loss of a loved one. At times, the film is unsparing." The picture's soundtrack features tracks by 60s artists The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, and Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band.

Year: 2007

Duration: 118 minutes

Genre: Drama

Starring:

Halle Berry

Benicio Del Toro

David Duchovny

Alison Lohman

Omar Benson Miller

John Carroll Lynch

Director: Susanne Bier

Rating: Rated R for drug content and explicit language.