Film review: Demolition (4 out of 5)

Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition SUS-160429-083520001
Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition SUS-160429-083520001

Director Jean-Marc Vallée has notched up an amazing hat-trick of successes with the arrival of this thoughtful and poignant film.

He had the award-winning Dallas Buyers Club in 2013, one of my favourite movies of last year, Wild, and now Demolition.

They all follow a theme of people on a emotional mission in life.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Davis, an investment banker who is pretty self-centred and work fixated.

However his life falls apart when his wife dies in a car accident.

But it’s not the grief and loss that are the problem, rather the lack of emotion he feels and the reaction of family and colleagues who can’t understand his detachment.

After a casual remark by his father-in-law to analyse his marriage, Davis just ends up de-constructing everything around him, computer, fridge, coffee machine and even his home.

The only outlet for his thoughts is the customer service rep for a vending machine company Karen (Naomi Watts) - his complaint about not getting a pack of sweets from a machine ends up as several full blown essays.

Gyllenhaal is in top form - wisely he seems to pick good meaty roles rather than work for the sake of it.

We can claim Naomi Watts as one of our own - she was born on the Sussex coast at Shoreham - and it’s good to see her provide an excellent supporting role.

Judah Lewis plays her rebellious son Chris who forms a bond with Davis and shows the well of young up-coming talent is far from dry.

Demolition does take a little while to find its feet but is well worth hanging in there.

Bryan Sipe’s screenplay is touching and well-observed.

And the movie has some superb music!

Film details: Demolition (15) 101mins

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol