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“The Upside” Turns Frowns Upsidedown





Review by John M. Delia, Jr.

The greatness we possess in ourselves, is that we can reach out to help our fellow man and perform a task as much as we possibly can. Now what if the person you want to help doesn’t want the help, or if they have a disability that makes it difficult to assist them? Today, the world is full of people that need this kind of help and this story is about how one person can help another regardless of their disability.

In The Upside we have two people living their lives and not knowing anything about the other. First we have Dell Scott (Kevin Hart), who was recently released from prison and as part of his parole he needs to locate employment. The problem is he at struggling trying to get a job. Mostly because he does not desire any of the possible work that an ex-con can do. It gets to the point where his parole officer has to give him an ultimatum. He has three days to find work or he will be in violation of his parole.

Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman and Kevin Hart star in THE UPSIDE.

Phillip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston), a multimillionaire and a recent quadriplegic, is currently looking for a live in helper. After an accident that changed his life Phillip must begin to realize he needs someone that can help him do everyday things. Down on himself since the accident, he is receiving help from longtime friend and co-worker Yvonne, (Nicole Kidman), but it’s not enough.

When Dell meets Phillip while interviewing for a janitor position, things begin to change for the both of them. Even though Dell is not qualified to be a caregiver, Phillip begins to talk Dell into taking the opportunity. He sees someone who is different and might change things for him, but Yvonne believes that frankly he’s the worst candidate for the position.

Kevin Hart stars in THE UPSIDE
David Lee/Photographer

Director Neil Burger presents the story very well and brings out a lot of emotions from the characters. He presents each detail to show how difficult it can be for someone with this type of disability. Neil goes further and shows the challenges caregivers have when trying to help someone, especially when they are reluctant to accept the help. Burger also does a fantastic job using comic relief during serious content situations.

Kevin Hart and Aja Naomi King star in THE UPSIDE
David Lee/Photographer

An excellent performance by Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman, and the rest of the cast throughout the film. Including the many awkward situations this movie has to deal with. I’m sure the storyline and acting will bring  a spectacular result at the box office.

Final Comment: I based my grade on an exceptional storyline with incredible acting and a very fascinating perspective. (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information

Cast: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Aja Naomi King, Nicole Kidman, Genevieve Angelson, Tate Donovan, and Julianna Margulies.
Directed by: Neil Burger
Genre: Comedy and Drama
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and drug use.
Running Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes
Release Date:  January 11, 2019
Distributed By: STX Entertainment
Released In: Standard.

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