Release Date: 11/04/22 [Apple TV+ / BFI London Film Festival]
"A US soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury while fighting in Afghanistan and struggles to adjust to life back home."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Causeway, premiering on Apple TV+ November 4, is a welcome return to drama for actress Jennifer Lawrence. It’s a methodically slow-paced, and at times painfully quiet study into the life of a soldier suffering from PTSD; as well as the unlikely bonds which can be formed through shared trauma.
In what is most certainly an intentional move by director Lila Neugebauer, we do not learn the name of our lead character — a veteran returning home to recuperate from traumatic injuries sustained in war — until well into the first half of the film. Stripped of her identity while deployed to Afghanistan, protagonist Lynsey (Lawrence) has a slow and bumpy return to self-realization as she navigates her home life, her rocky relationship with her mother, and a budding and complicated friendship with a hometown car mechanic named James.
Helping anchor a solid performance from Lawrence is a tragically endearing showing from co-star Brian Tyree Henry, who viewers might recognize from his role in the FX dramedy series Atlanta. Henry brings a deeply human, charming “realness” to the role of James, and watching his character progress as his tragic past is revealed is nothing short of mesmerizing. While Lawrence shines in this uncharacteristically subdued role, Henry steals the show.
Causeway doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of plot, and the third act veers dangerously close into “predictable” territory. Nevertheless, it’s an important film detailing the trauma suffered by thousands of soldiers that follows them well after their physical wounds have healed — and even folks who aren’t generally fans of Lawrence will find her toned-down performance refreshing and watchable.