Two couples meet for a painful and raw conversation in the aftermath of a violent tragedy.

Runtime: 111 min

Popularity: 8.994

Budget: $0

Revenue: $131,357

Quality: HD

imdb rating 7.8


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at 18:29 pm

If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com I don't know why now, but I didn't watch Mass as a premiere during Sundance. Instead, I left it to an on-demand viewing for the next day. As soon as I finished Wild Indian (which I sort of liked), I knew I made a mistake. Mass is one of the heaviest, unbreathable, overwhelmingly emotional films I've ever seen. This review was supposed to have been up 24h ago, but I needed to process everything and sleep on it. It's even more shocking considering this is a feature directorial debut for Fran Kranz, who becomes a filmmaker worthy of all my attention from now on. His impressive direction takes the viewers through a story told in such a raw, authentic way that even a simple room with chairs and a table is enough to hold the audience at the edge of their seats for the entire runtime. Technically, I must praise Kranz's mise-en-scène, which tells a story on its own through the movement of the actors and the position of certain set elements during each scene. From something seemingly irrelevant as the carefully placed flowers and tissues to the extremely tense atmosphere created by the parents' uncomfortable disposition, I finished the movie emotionally exhausted as if someone had drained everything inside me. This takes me to one of the most compelling, devastating, heartfelt performances I've ever seen in a single film. Every actor incorporates their respective characters in such a giving, passionate manner that I'm sure this movie was as hard to shoot for them as it was for the viewers to watch. Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, and Reed Birney all deserve nominations in every awards show worldwide. I can't even pick a standout interpretation because all are genuinely magnificent. They're all so extraordinarily invested in dealing with their characters' struggles that I couldn't stop tearing up after each line of dialogue. Everyone has at least one big moment to shine, and everyone nails that moment in a jaw-dropping way. However, Mass is far from being an actor showcase. It brings several sensitive, important matters to the table (literally), such as gun violence and the impact of video games on young people, but it also addresses feelings that are tough to deal with: forgiveness, love, the ability to move on, grief/loss, anger, guilt, depression, and so much more. It's one of those films that will undoubtedly impact every single viewer, even if it's in a negative way. As much as I love everything I saw on the screen, it's also a movie I don't see myself watching again, at least not more than two times. It ends in an expectedly positive light, but it might be too emotionally demanding for me in this current phase of my life. Mass is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally challenging viewings I've ever had to face. Fran Kranz's feature directorial debut tells an unbelievably heavy story through four actors who dive deep into their characters, all delivering career-best performances. Everyone is an incredible standout: Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, and Reed Birney deserve a massive campaign to receive every acting award there is. The cast drains every single ounce of emotion within the viewers, transforming a tiny little room with impactful mise-en-scène that tells its own story into an extremely tense, heart-wrenching, almost unbreathable environment. Dozens of meaningful matters and challenging feelings are addressed in the span of little less than two hours, creating a truly devastating film that left me sobbing. It's utterly impossible for someone not to be affected by this movie, even if it's in a negative way. It's one of those films that I'll recommend to everyone and support throughout its eventual release, but I can't deny this might have been my one and only watch of such a brutally demanding, authentic story. Rating: A

Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots

at 11:49 am

The emotionally exhausting film “Mass” is an impressive screenwriting and directorial debut from Fran Kranz. It’s exceptionally well-written, skillfully acted, and thoughtfully explores the idea of grief, guilt, and forgiveness. This film will break you. Two couples, Richard (Reed Birney) and Linda (Ann Dowd), and Jay (Jason Isaacs) and Gail (Martha Plimpton), meet face-to-face after a tragic event connected their two families over 6 years ago. They’re hoping that talking out their anger, sadness, and frustrations will finally allow them to put their painful memories in the past and move forward with their lives. These two families had their entire worlds ripped apart, and each are dealing with the aftermath and lingering repercussions of the violent event in different ways. Throughout the course of the meeting, there are accusations, interrogations, apologies, and attempts to heal what’s broken in all of them. Kranz has written an incredibly moving screenplay, with dialogue that’s distressing and painful. The performances are impassioned, and the cast contributes to the film’s heavy emotional impact. The characters are sympathetic, with Jay and Gail desperate for any rational explanation and Richard and Linda’s unbearable pain from years of living with the “what ifs?” and the guilt of not seeing the warning signs before the worst happened. Kranz sets his film in the basement of a church, which lends the most sterile, dreary tone. He adds to the audience’s discomfort by using agonizing close-up shots as the confrontation grows more heated. What starts as an awkward meeting rages into a tense discussion that no parent ever wants to have. The film feels a little stagey and not totally organic, but it has an emotional rawness that effectively captures the different ways people process grief. There’s some heavy-handed religious imagery towards the end of the film, which is completely unnecessary. Even if there was an ironic point to be made about the contradictions of Christian beliefs versus actual practice when it comes to forgiveness, it feels like gross pandering. This didn’t ruin “Mass,” but it certainly knocks it down a few notches.