January 14th, 2009



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Nathan, a brilliant New York lawyer who leads a life of professional success, but his private life is pretty dismal since he divorced Claire...

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 5.8/10 (1,719 voted)

Director: Gilles Bourdos

Stars: Romain Duris, John Malkovich, Evangeline Lilly

Nathan, a brilliant New York lawyer who leads a life of professional success, but his private life is pretty dismal since he divorced Claire, his only love. Until he meets Doctor Kay, a mysterious doctor who introduces himself as a "Messenger." He claims that he can sense when certain people are about to die, and that he is sent to help them put their life in order before it's too late. Nathan doesn't believe a word of this, but soon afterwards he witnesses some disconcerting scenes which seem to confirm the doctor's claims.

Writers: Michel Spinosa, Gilles Bourdos

Romain Duris - Nathan
John Malkovich - Kay
Evangeline Lilly - Claire
Pascale Bussières - Anna
Sara Waisglass - Tracey
Reece Thompson - Jeremy (as Reece Daniel Thompson)
Bruno Verdoni - Doctor
Joan Gregson - Mother in law
Mark Camacho - Lawyer
Robin Wilcock - Lawyer
Edward Yankie - Lawyer
Carlo Mestroni - Lawyer
Glenda Braganza - Rachel
Leni Parker - Admission clerk
Henri Pardo - Haitian spokesman


Official Website: Official site [France] | Official site [United States] |

Release Date: 14 January 2009

Filming Locations: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: €825,672 (France) (18 January 2009) (250 Screens)

Gross: €51,686 (Belgium) (25 January 2009)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Canada: (Toronto International Film Festival)  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

Several of the crew had already worked with director/co-writer Gilles Bourdos on other films, such as co-writer Michel Spinosa, a collaborator of Bourdos' ever since the start of his career, and cinematographer Ping Bin Lee who served the same duties on A Sight for Sore Eyes.

Crew or equipment visible: In the scene where Nathan approaches an ambulance from behind, his feet are reflected in the shiny metal at the bottom of the vehicle's rear doors. Also reflected are the feet of the cameraman following him.

User Review

A film about learning how to live

Rating: 9/10

For a movie that concerned itself so much with death and dying, I was surprised at how much it said about life and learning how to live. Anyone who has been through a period of personal evolution will be able to relate to the main character as he reflects on the past events of his life and begins to change the dynamic of how he lives going forward. Those who haven't already reached these conclusions on their own will probably find it more difficult to understand.

I believe the reserved performance by the main character was a perfect representation of a man who is led by his career and by practical matters, and has shut himself off from his emotions and any real sense of living. Malkovich plays the somewhat creepy, mysterious benefactor of insights unseen (until the end of the movie) and delivers everything you'd expect from him in such a role. The female characters generate the same sympathy and compassion from the audience as they do from their male counterparts in the film, and that's why this movie works. If we are moved, we understand how they would be moved.

Preparing oneself to die by truly embracing life is not the theme I was expecting from this movie, but it's probably a better one than what I was looking for. I generally classify movies like this as "must see" films because anyone that hasn't figured something like this out on their own, really should. And the sooner, the better.


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