Another Richard Armitage photo from the best scene in Brain on Fire

Thanks to @mooseturds. Link.

Richard Armitage (Tom Cahalan), Chloe Grace Moretz (Susannah Cahalan), and Jenn McLean-Angus (Giselle) in Brain on Fire.


~ by Servetus on April 22, 2017.

32 Responses to “Another Richard Armitage photo from the best scene in Brain on Fire”

  1. You know I was really excited about Brain on Fire but every trailer/ still I see makes me fearful the film will be a train wreck. I will own that I’m sensitive around how mental health issues are portrayed on film and feel that if done well can deepen understanding, start conversations and increase empathy. Done badly none of this will happen and stigma will continue. I’m hoping I will be pleasantly surprised though.

    • I don’t think this film is stigmatizing to mentally ill people. BUT the entire point of the film is they think she has schizophrenia and she actually has a brain disease caused by a virus. We don’t see any people who have a mental illness in the traditional sense. So it’s definitely stigmatizing of mental health professionals, who come off looking either a bit silly or as actively obstructionist. The other thing is the horror that Mr. Cahalan and Ms. Nack (Susannah’s mother) have at the possibility that their daughter would have to be committed to a mental hospital. This reaction would be broadly shared in the US (I have had two schizophrenic friends in my lifetime — unfortunately both of them are dead now, having killed themselves — and that news would have horrified me, too.) It’s pretty clearly a message film just like the book was a message book — and the message is, if you have the symptoms of schizophrenia make sure your doctor checks you for MDMA receptor encephalitis.

      This scene is the low point — right after this scene, they decide she has to be hospitalized.

    • oops. NDMA. NOT MDMA!

  2. After the “elastic mat” we now get a “flying saucer”. Looks like some proper drama. Hope this isn’t over-acted?

    • “Props” to the props

    • well, if you read my review last fll, my reaction was that Chloe Moretz was miscast and can’t act. So. But without leaving spoilers in public, this is one of the better scenes for Armitage.

      • I just re-read your review. In combination with this picture, it doesn’t bode well…

        • The fellow fan with whom I saw this film and I sort of looked at each other after the first forty minutes or so in a combination of despair and frustration. Moretz is bad. Like — if I were her and saw this on screen I’d have been tempted to cancel all my projects too, and go to acting school. But (even given the total imbalance between their skills), Armitage is pretty good, particularly in this scene.

          • Oh-oh… Maybe you were not the only one with that assessment of Moretz’ skills – and the fact that the film hasn’t been picked up for release in the major markets is a reflection of that.

            • If I were a film buyer, I’d have thought — oh, Chloe Grace Moretz, this will attract the teen crowd who goes to movies in malls and so on. Then once I saw it, I’d have declined. It would have had a great opening weekend but sales would have fallen apart after that.

              I think her performance would be less devastating (as poor as it is) if the script were better. But Barrett was asked about that several times in Toronto and he said at least twice (paraphrasing), I rejected all that stuff about the filmmaker’s perspective and being an auteur and so on. I supposed it’s possible he asked about script changes and said no — Cahalan was pretty clear that the purpose of the film was to alert people to the possibility of the illness; it’s a message film. He even said, you’re supposed to be able to recognize the progression of the illness from the film and he didn’t want the cinematography to compete with that. He pretty clearly decided that he was not going to explore the aesthetic or artistic or philosophical moment of mental illness. So the script is a linear narrative, just like in the book, without the informative insertions. Because of that choice the quality of her performance becomes more central (and problematic).

              But he’s great. This is going to be one of those things that people watch in an edited version on YT (like they used to watch BTS).

              • Very interesting, Serv, thank you for this background. Interesting “artistic” choices on part of the director, too – maybe more guided by need rather than choice, since he came to the project rather late, with little prep time? In any case, it explains why they decided on a “message film”. Unfortunate that their chosen lead actress may not have been quite up to carrying the film on her shoulders yet. I don’t really know Moretz’ work at all; it just strikes me from the stills I have seen that she looks far too young to me.
                However, I am glad to hear that RA delivers. That was to be expected. It just would be disappointing if yet another film of his doesn’t make it far… despite his best efforts.

                • re: too young — yeah, that was part of my review of her performance as well.

                  re: another film didn’t make it far– I guess we’d have to define that. From what I have learned about the industry since being a fan, most films don’t make it past the editing stage even to being screened at a festival. (I recently read an interview with Miles Teller about his participation in Rabbit Hole that kind of shocked me; he was paid something like $7k for his participation and the total gross international receipts for the film were only $5M. It got tons of nominations including Nicole Kidman for Best Actress Oscar — but I still would bet that very few people have seen it. In terms of this film — if they sell if all over Asia and parts of eastern Europe (as seems to have happened) and Netflix buys it, I think that it’s potentially punching above its weight.

                  • I never thought about it in depth – until I started following Armitage’s career. But I guess that is probably normal – the majority of films never make it into the public’s consciousness. I have to say I feel a certain amount of regret that that is so – just because it means that the hard work of those involved never gets recognised. In that sense, it is great that we now have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and the like, who buy up films and make them accessible.

                    • It’s a weird moment, because in some ways it’s a lot easier and cheaper to make a high quality film project than it used to be. Film schools are flooded (this info from a friend who’s a film prof) and film studies courses are more popular than ever. There are tons of indie filmmakers and every small town has a film festival. The big conundrum now, which is worse than ever, apparently, is distribution.

                    • I suspect a lot of it is about having the right connection – backers, financiers, big name mentors.

                    • Absolutely. We have a fellow fan who owns a film company and she has shared some of the work that goes into getting a script sold / a film produced, and I think that’s one of her bigger issues — how to convince someone with clout to get on her side.

                    • Yep – and you know what, that even applies to people with a name in the business. I have family connections to someone who is pretty big in the business (we’re talking multi-million dollar films with big Hollywood stars), yet they are struggling to get their own production off the ground. It’s a fickle business…

  3. This is always for Richard Armitage, the only way to ensure that, as in this film’s ending, “all’s well that ends well”. A perfect telefilm for a housewife isn’t it?

    • This was the thing that triggered my Armitagemania, and I wasn’t a housewife when I saw it. So it may be perfect for a housewife but it was also perfect for an unhappy, overworked professor.

      • And to keep me busy, during the slow time, when, a weekend as this one, I am on guard duty! But feel reassured Servetus, tomorrow, I shall take time to run away to vote.

        • That’s good to hear! Make the right decision.

          • If everybody voted for a democrat and not for a populist …. My 18-year-old daughter is a volunteer assessor. She will check my identity papers, let me slip the ballot in the ballot box or tell me where to sign. The expectation of the results will be hard to manage.

  4. It gives me ideas to retype my old kitchen, where one appliance out of two is out of use. Taking into account Perry’s remarks.

    • considering how wealthy Tom Cahalan is and where his home is located, this is kind of a low-end kitchen.

  5. So is mine, only to have vintage furniture, with stripping paint, new knob, modern tile (crédence)…a refrigerator, an oven and a cooktop in good working order.

  6. I’ve got the book on my TBR pile, didn’t know they were making a film out of it, I guess I’ll have to read it soon 😉

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