For this week's Movie Minutes, KUNR entertainment reviewer Robin Holabird looks at the film Four Good Days and says the movie showcases a great performance from a top actress.
After transforming a losing night into a personality win at the Oscars, Glenn Close shows up in theaters this week with yet another solid performance in Four Good Days. A nominee at the Oscars, Close lost again but got a shout-out from her category’s winner. Afterward, Close brought smiles to viewers with her grinding version of a dance called “Da Bump,” and she looked like she had fun, too.
Close experienced her eighth loss but remains a winner with her work, shown again in Four Good Days. As with her most recent Oscar nomination for Hillbilly Elegy, Close again plays the mother of a drug-addled daughter, the kind of demanding role that has a range of emotions. The role provides a different twist from Hillbilly Elegy, where regional culture played into the story.
In contrast, Four Good Days involves no specialty make-up or specific location. It looks at a sadly common situation, filmed in the generic-looking Santa Clarita section of southern California. The story opens with a young addict camping out on her mother’s doorstep, begging for the help she requires to get treatment by going four good days without using. Mom knows this routine, but motherhood means hope and the willingness to try again.
The dynamics prove familiar, hitting some of the same points found in Beautiful Boy, Hillbilly Elegy, August: Osage County and other drug-related stories. While drug addicts provide strong dramatic fodder, they rarely prove entertaining. But the stories keep turning into movies, irresistible bait to actors looking for challenging roles.
Close easily jumps the acting hurdles, her own strong features shining through. She displays believable force and vulnerability as her character fights her own demons and tries to help her daughter. Mila Kunis, known for lighter fare like That '70s Show, turns in a strong dramatic performance as a broken-down woman, running with the emotional highs and lows the role provides.
Both actresses give their all to the parts and serve as the calling card of Four Good Days.
Robin Holabird is KUNR's entertainment reviewer, author and former film commissioner for the Nevada Film Office. Her full online archive can be found here.