All I See Is You, 2016.
Directed by Marc Forster.
Starring Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Ahna O’Reilly, Miguel Fernandez, Danny Huston and Yvonne Strahovski.
A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.
Ever since last year’s Age of Adeline, Blake Lively has had a career resurgence with some dramatic performances in that film and last month’s survival flick The Shallows. Lively continues her trend in All I See Is You, showcasing some deep acting chops as Gina, a blind woman who regains her sight. This changes the dynamic with her husband (Jason Clarke) as she begins to literally see the details in their marriage that she was never able to notice before. Director Marc Forster tells a compelling tale that examines the subtle shifts in marriage for better and worse in a visually and auditory ambitious piece of film.
It should go without saying that Lively is the strongest of the cast. This is her show and she uses every minute of screentime to showcase her talent. Once she regains her sight, Gina slowly undergoes a transformation as the world opens up to her for the first time since she was a child. There is a lot of nuance to Lively’s performance as she explores the complexity in a marriage such as this. Gina’s character growth progresses naturally and believably, even when she makes some questionable decisions. As the movie continues Lively turns up the drama and delivers a strong and emotional performance overall.
The other half of the couple is Clarke’s James, whose character becomes riddled in complexity and hypocrisy as the movie digs deeper into his and Gina’s marriage. Clarke puts a lot of his own subtlety into the role by relying on a lot of James’ quiet reactions and introspective process. His character also has an intriguing arc as he starts off happy for Gina’s recovery, yet slowly grows despondent over the radical shift in their marriage that her sight has brought on.
For a film that is all about the ability to see, All I See Is You is quite a visionary film showcasing surreal imagery from start to finish. Forster goes to great lengths to capture what it must be like for a blind person to experience life, emphasizing the sometimes brutal input of mismatched sound and images they must receive. These sections of the film have quite an art-house feel, displaying some stunning and out of the box imagery that helps correlate with Gina’s journey. A couple of these pieces are a little too on the nose, but overall Forster succeeds in creating one of 2016’s most unique looking films. The one other fault I could say is that the ending seems a tad bit abrupt. Though viewers who pay close attention to the characters and themes will be rewarded, there may be a bit too much left open for interpretation by the viewers.
Forster also uses his locations to great effect. All I See Is You takes place primarily in Thailand with parts of it in Spain and Forster utilizes his eye for visuals to get the most of each location, particularly when the married couple tour Spain’s countryside. The cinematography is all around excellent to look at it. Forster delivers a complicated look at marriage and the ways one can view it with a (quite literal) new set of eyes that is supported by stunning visuals and a captivating cast that is helped by Ahna O’Reilly, Miguel Fernandez, Wes Chatham and Danny Huston. All I See Is You is a strong dramatic entry to Blake Lively’s growing repertoire.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★