Life as a House
Life as a House ★★½ 2001 (R)
George (Kline) is an architect who lives in a broken down shack surrounded by ritzy homes on California's Pacific shore. His ex-wife Robin (Thomas) is raising their druggedout Goth son Sam (Christensen) with her emotionally unavailable husband Peter (Sheridan). In quick succession, George is fired from his job and learns he has a fatal disease. He examines his life and decides to use his remaining time to tear down the old house and build a new one. He forces Sam to help him, intending to use the project as a means to repair his relationship with his son. Robin's feelings for George also rekindle, and they be come more than friends once again. The performances of the excellent ensemble cast, especially Kline and Thomas, save this from being called “Sappy Symbolism as a Movie.” 124m/C VHS, DVD . Kevin Kline, Hayden Christensen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone, Mary Steenburgen, Jamey Sheridan, Scott Bakula, Sam Robards, Mike Weinberg, Scotty Leavenworth, Ian Somerhalder, Sandra Nelson; D: Irwin Winkler; W: Mark Andrus; C: Vilmos Zsigmond; M: Mark Isham. Natl. Bd. of Review ‘01: Breakthrough Perf. (Christensen).