BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
FOR PUBLICATION: AT WILL DATE: 04/27/2021
FILM EVALUATION BY Richard Roeper
“GOOD FOUR DAYS” Three Stars Deb ……. Glenn Close Molly ….. Mila Kunis
Vertical Entertainment presents a film by Rodrigo Garcia. Written by Rodrigo Garcia and Eli Saslow. Rated R (for drug content, language, and brief sexuality). Running time: 99 minutes. Opens in cinemas April 30th.
The recovering 30-year-old addict speaks in a high school classroom about the horrors of substance abuse, how she slept on the street last week, and how just getting high can help her forget the chaos that appeals to her has caused her life – and then a girl in a denim jacket looks at her so judgmental that 15-year-olds look at you, and the student says, “Then just don’t do it.”
“Excuse me?” says the recovering addict.
“Sorry, I would never let myself go that far,” says the girl.
And then the woman in front of the class begins with a shame no one in this room will ever forget, and neither will we.
We’ve seen Mila Kunis on screens big and small for about 20 years, from “That ’70s Show” to dramas like “Black Swan” to comedies like “Ted” and the “Bad Moms” films, but her performance Als Woman who led herself and loved ones in the formulaic but resonant story of drug recovery through hell, “Four Good Days” is the best job she did. It’s not just the physical change, although it’s amazing to see Kunis with blotchy skin, doll hair, and missing teeth, looking as emaciated as if she were a little kid wearing the clothes of her older siblings. It’s the absolutely convincing mannerisms and tics, the way her eyes move when she lies again, the looks of deep sadness and despair than she realizes when she doesn’t turn things around – when she doesn’t FINALLY turn things around – it is not long for this life.
“Four Good Days” is staged with no-frills efficiency by Rodrigo Garcia and is based on a Washington Post story of the experiences of a real mother and her grown-up daughter. It is reminiscent of current films like “Beautiful Boy” and “Ben Is” Zurück, “in which the lost offspring return to their parents, who have reached their limits with lying and stealing and arrests and rehabs and relapses and themselves have vowed not to help anymore – but then they will help again. ” because that’s her child.
Kunis is Molly, who has been addicted to heroin, methadone, crack and others for 10 years and has been detoxified 14 times. Glenn Close is heartbreakingly good as her mother Deb, who reluctantly agrees to help Molly one last time. If Molly can get through three days of detox and then four days at home without getting high, she will be given an injection of naltrexone, which will remove drug cravings and highs for a full month. During these four long days we meet Molly’s ex-husband (Joshua Leonard) and the two children, who are almost strangers to her. Deb’s second husband (Stephen Root); her biological father (Sam Hennings) and her estranged sister (Carla Gallo).
All of them, and no doubt many others, were heavily influenced by Molly’s illness. Some of them have given up.
Not everyone. The mother-daughter dynamic in “Four Good Days” is powerful and sustained and devastating and maybe the thing that is helping Molly save her life.
Minireview: “Four good days” (Drama, R, 99 minutes). A mother (Glenn Close) approaches her limit with her daughter who uses heroin and agrees to help her one last time in this formulaic but resonant story of drug recovery. Mila Kunis’ appearance as an addict who took herself and her loved ones through hell is the best job she’s done. Rating: three stars.
(EDITOR: If you have editorial questions, please contact Sue Roush, sroush (at) amuniversal.com.)
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