This could all feel schematic in lesser hands, but Neugebauer gives Lawrence and Henry the space they need to make the film’s characters feel like real people. As a result, the inevitable glimmer of hope they share at the end is as honest as the hurt that guided them to it.
The experience of seeing Causeway isn’t what you’d imagine while trying to decide whether to watch a 92-minute movie about a veteran’s slow recovery. It feels more like moving in with her — invisible — for weeks, and watching as she makes a sandwich or stares into space. That isn’t drama. That’s practically audience abuse.
I wish we had more movies like this one. So powerful in its understatement, and such deep characterization brought to life by two of our finest actors. I rarely give praise like this, where the word "exquisite" comes to mind, but it does: For acting, writing and directing. The supporting cast too, was spot-on. (One scene late in the film just blew me away.) This one's pretty close to perfect. Thank you.
How credible is Jennifer Lawrence, now a 32-year-old world star, when in 2019 she felt the need to self-produce in this movie that sends her back to a character and a cinema similar to those of her indie debuts, "Winter's Bone" above all? Lila Neugebauer in her first feature film tries to manage JLaw as she can, in a path of survival from traumas suffered and responsibilities denied in war as in the family. Normally the psychophysical rehabilitation strategy is mutual support and in fact here we end up with the meeting of two peripheral and marginal solitudes. A few less clichés would have helped, for example her gender fluidity.
Causeway is a small, intimate drama that ultimately adds up to nothing.
It's a story with a lot to explore but basically settles for leaving it all in small situations that make all the weight of the plot fall on Jennifer Lawrence's character and her sober and noticeable performance, to which is added the appearance of a solid Brian Tyree Henry.
While this is a plus for the film because Lawrence once again demonstrates the acting quality that put her on the map over a decade ago with Winter's Bone, in reality Causeway is a film that is unlikely to leave a lasting impression on the viewer, regardless of what it achieves during its running time.
Not that it's just another one of the bunch, but it doesn't stand out among them either.