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The Upside

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The Upside is a heartwarming and humorous American drama comedy directed by Neil Burger, released in 2017. The film features a dynamic cast that includes Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, and Nicole Kidman. Interestingly, The Upside is a remake of the French blockbuster, "The Intouchables," thus carrying on the remarkable legacy of the original film while adding its unique flair and replacing the original Parisian setting with the bustle of New York City.

The film presents an unlikely relationship between two diametrically different individuals thrown together by peculiar circumstances. The lead characters are portrayed by Bryan Cranston, known for his commanding and intense roles, and Kevin Hart, celebrated for his spirited and comical performances. The result is an engaging mix of humor, drama and emotion, beautifully presented to provide an entertaining, thought-provoking, and heartfelt experience for audiences.

Bryan Cranston plays the role of Phillip Lacasse, a billionaire financier who is left quadriplegic following a devastating accident. Living a life engulfed in opulence, Phillip is struggling with his will and zest for life, turning his existence into one of stinging loneliness and isolation. Regardless of the immense wealth he possesses, Phillip finds himself trapped within the confines of his Park Avenue penthouse, yearning less for physical independence and more for meaningful companionship.

In a stark contrast, Kevin Hart stars as Dell Scott, an irreverent ex-convict desperate to secure a job to prevent a return to prison. Mirroring Phillip’s situation, Dell is also isolated, but by the circumstances of his socio-economic environment, rather than a physical disability. Dell’s world is a chaotic antithesis to Phillip’s cocooned, orderly existence. Hilariously underqualified, Dell secures the job as Phillip's "life auxiliary," a caregiver.

Nicole Kidman adds another dimension to the narrative with her portrayal of Yvonne, Phillip’s devoted executive and right-hand woman. Beneath her businesslike exterior, Yvonne harbors a deep and unspoken affection for Phillip, making for a subtly complex relationship dynamic within the movie.

The collision of Dell's street smarts and outgoing nature with Phillip's cautious, structured world sparks a unique and valuable camaraderie between the two. Their relationship, despite starting off on rocky ground, grows to become a genuine bond characterized by shared learning and experiences that has them navigate life's victories, challenges, and everything in between together.

The Upside blends comedy and drama, weaving together a touching narrative that explores disability, societal divisions, and the power of an unlikely friendship. It beautifully subverts stereotypes, relying less on clichéd depictions of wealth or poverty, instead focusing on the values of understanding, companionship, and shared humanity.

Further enhancing the appeal of the film is the skilled direction by Neil Burger. The screenplay, written by Jon Hartmere, delicately balances the heavy themes of the narrative with comedic moments, providing audiences with a film that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. Punctuating the narrative are moments of heartfelt introspection, honest emotion, and delightful humor, each further endeavoring to bring humility and genuine warmth to the characters and their story.

Fueling the persuasive narrative are the incredible performance by the leading actors. Bryan Cranston expertly captures the nuanced frailty of Phillip's character while retaining his stoic sophistication. On the other hand, Kevin Hart, known primarily for his comedic roles, shows his versatility in a more dramatic role, bringing to life Dell's charisma and ambition with infectious energy and earnestness. Nicole Kidman gracefully portrays the supporting role of Yvonne, grounding the narrative with her composed presence and refined performance.

In conclusion, The Upside is a beautifully created film illustrating the bond that forms when two extremely different worlds crash into one another, exploring the themes of friendship, laughter, and the victory of spirit over circumstances. The story's humor, heart, and insightful social commentary make it a poignant viewing experience, emphasizing the idea that sometimes, the most profound friendships can sprout from the most unlikely places.

The Upside is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2019. It has a runtime of 118 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 46.

How to Watch The Upside

Where can I stream The Upside movie online? The Upside is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Netflix, FuboTV, Sling, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Upside for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Neil Burger
Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
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