All I See Is You
2017, R, 110 min. Directed by Marc Forster. Starring Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Danny Huston, Ahna O’Reilly, Miquel Fernández.
REVIEWED By Danielle White, Fri., Oct. 27, 2017
I was a bit bummed to discover there’s some false packaging wrapped around “drama/thriller” All I See Is You. It’s not exactly suspenseful – unless you’re prone to tensing up during close-ups of eyeballs, or stressing out when several plot points don’t make any sense. Obsession is present, but not like that of a Lifetime Movie villain; it’s more subtle and, well … real. While living in Thailand, Gina (Lively) undergoes surgery to restore her eyesight, which she lost in a car accident as a little girl. Her husband James (Clarke) hovers over her like a mother bird with a fledgling. There’s a sense of birth as the camera’s focus becomes less blurry, and a viscous liquid around the lens subsides. James is sweet and supportive, but also really insecure now that Gina doesn’t depend on him as much. She’s a little like a rebellious teenager as she rejects the clothes she used to wear (conservative outfits that James picked out), lightens her hair, starts wearing makeup, and flirts with attractive men. Whoa, Nelly.
The script was co-written by Sean Conway and Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Stranger Than Fiction), who also directed. I appreciated some of the low-key metaphors and imagery (bright flowers in a marketplace signaling an awakening), though I was puzzled by others (water everywhere – pools, fish tanks, rivers, fountains, ponds). There’s also a lot of glass in the film, and a sense of voyeurism (most obvious when Gina and James happen upon a couple having honeymoon sex). The extreme close-ups of Lively’s face echo the obsession angle they’re trying so hard to sell (see also: title of movie). A few scenes are inexplicably bizarre (why is Gina’s brother-in-law covering his naked body in red paint while staring at a sculpture of a bull?). It’s as though someone came along and said, “Just make it artsy as fuck.” It’s a bit frustrating, as the film does have substance: Couples don’t always survive major life changes, especially a shifting in roles. But perhaps I’m just trying to see something that isn’t there.