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Life Itself

Pretentiousness and sentimentality weigh down this drama from writer-director Dan Fogelman. It's a collection of interlocking, intergenerational stories that begins with a couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) happily expecting the arrival of a daughter, then follows the baby's life as both a child (Kya Kruse) and a grown-up (Olivia Cooke) and links her destiny to that of a Spanish family (parents Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Laia Costa and son Alex Monner) through a fateful visit they pay to her native New York. Instead of allowing the sometimes-melodramatic events, in which Antonio Banderas also figures in the guise of a wealthy gentleman farmer, to speak for themselves, Fogelman heavy-handedly tries to drive home a message about what they mean. Along the way, he includes a few plot developments with which even some adult viewers may be uncomfortable.

Watch out for: Brief scenes of suicide and accidental death with gore, mature themes including abortion, drug use, a premarital situation, an ambivalent treatment of marriage, a few uses of profanity, a couple of milder oaths, pervasive rough and much crude language.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: R

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018