21 Grams ★★★½ 2003 (R)
In his second film (his first in English), Inarritu takes what could have, in the wrong hands, become a trite Lifetime movie, and elevates it in an unusual and compelling fashion. Jack (Del-Toro), is imprisoned and bornagain. Paul (Penn) has a terminal heart disease and needs a transplant. Christina (Watts), a recovering addict, mourns the loss of her family. Of course, the lives of these characters collide. Stellar performances by an excellent cast combine with beautiful cinematography to create a powerful film. Title refers to the amount of weight a body loses upon death. 125m/C VHS, DVD . US Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall, Danny Huston, Paul Calderon; D: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; W: Guillermo Arriaga; C: Rodrigo Prieto; M: Gustavo Santaolalla. L.A. Film Critics ‘03: Actress (Watts); Natl. Bd. of Review ‘03: Actor (Penn).