Amazon Studios won a $10 million auction for the rights to This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman‘s feature film Life Itself in December 2017. If disappointing snooty critics is a path to success with the public, that looks like money well spent. The film’s very title pledges its allegiance to exploring the big and imponderable questions, just like its TV cousin This Is Us. Those aforementioned early critics have been disappointed, generally saying Life Itself presents a paint-by-numbers emotional simplicity. (Typical rant: “a movie made for people who can’t be trusted to understand any storytelling unless it’s not just spoon-fed but ladled on.”) But don’t count on those critics being right, or discouraging the public from wanting what Life Itself is offering.
Sure, maybe director/writer Fogelman found himself a little hemmed in by the format — just a couple of hours for the movie where (with This Is Us) he normally has multiple episodes to spin his magic. Or maybe the critics are just wrong and Fogelman knows exactly what he’s doing. The trailer has been viewed nearly 11 million times…
Starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Alex Monner, Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Mandy Patinkin, Life Itself delivers a multi-generational portrait — again following the compelling This Is Us style. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? That’s what Amazon Studios obviously thinks. Life Itself hits US theaters on September 21. (Book your tickets now.) It will create its singular impact with numerous memorable scenes, those stunning, often sometimes quiet moments that stay with you because you feel like they could happen to you. That’s what Fogelman specializes in.
— Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) September 10, 2018