A clever look at life and death

Hereafter Warner Bros. Rating: 14A 129 minutes

Clint Eastwood continues to amaze; still directing wonderful films at 80. He gets a lot of help this time out from screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and an excellent cast.

Hereafter peeks at what awaits us after death, told through the stories of three people in three different places, who, of course, come together by the end.

The first story involves a French journalist (Cecile De France) who has a near death experience when a tsunami hits her Indonesian resort. She goes home to Paris and writes a book about life after death.

The second story is about a San Francisco psychic played by Matt Damon. He has some innate power to connect living people with dead family. His brother (Jay Mohr) calls it a psychic gift; Damon says it’s a curse. After an almost relationship with a girl he meets at a cooking class (Bryce Dallas Howard) he tries to find a new life.

The third story is about a boy (Frankie McLaren) in London, who loses his twin brother in an accident. He becomes obsessed with psychics and communicating with his dead brother.

This is a very nice movie. But it avoids any definitive answer about life after death. It asks questions, but the answers are all about life before death. It also points out that many psychics are fakes.

The pacing is slow and deliberate; some people will find Hereafter boring. But it is a thought-provoking film and deserves a viewing.

Rating: four deer of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.