Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd star in the non-traditional Christmas movie All is Bright. Yes, this happens at Christmas time; yes, they sell Christmas trees, and are searching for Christmas gifts, but the sad tone of the movie makes it not a standard feel-good Christmas movie.
Paul Giamatti plays recently paroled ex-con Dennis, who is desperately looking to go straight. After being released, Dennis returns to his ex-wife’s home hoping to reconnect with to see his daughter, only to discover that the ex-wife has told his daughter he was dead. And oh, by the way, she is planning to marry Dennis’ former partner-in-crime Rene (Paul Rudd). Dennis confronts Rene and ultimately begs Rene to help him with one last job—find his daughter the perfect Christmas gift. Obviously, Dennis will need money but he wants it to be legit and demands that Rene let him tag along to New York to sell Christmas trees, a job Rene insists is easy money. Although Dennis wants to leave his criminal lifestyle, but he continuously falls back on it when life does not go easily for him. And in the end, he is worse off than when he was locked up before the film began.
To me, a true Christmas movie should have a feel good ending. The plot moves at a snail’s pace, and at times I was easily distracted. The main characters in All is Bright are simply too depressing to watch at this joyous time of year. But, Giamatti and Rudd’s performances bring life to an otherwise dull movie. Without them, I might not have made it to the end of the film. It was nice seeing the Paul’s break out of their typical characters and attack something darker.
While the Blu-ray format allows room for loads of extras, All is Bright contains zero, no goofy outtakes, no behind the scenes, nothing. The picture looks great on a large screen TV and the the sound is amazing played through a surround sound system. In addition to Blu-ray, All is Bright is available for 48-hour rental through Amazon Instant Video, and on DVD.