Causeway might be the singularly most boring movie of its year, and not even in an artsy-movie-nominated-for-Oscars-because-it’s-supposedly-deep way either, just regular old boring. Jennifer Lawrence had taken a little break from acting, before Don’t Look Up and this more challenging role in Causeway, so it’s good to see her back, but this is a disappointing return. This film is unmemorable and without impact, as much as you want to like the story it’s trying to tell you, and that’s just unforgivable.
Lynsey is a soldier who was injured by a blast in Afghanistan, and is having some trouble returning to herself and to the “real world.” At first it was physical therapy and memory tests, but now that her body is feeling better, the next transition is so much harder. A job, a house, her mother; all she wants to do is get back to the role she felt competent in, not this day-to-day existence that seems to simply be passing time. Meeting James, a man who has gone through a similar experience, helps focus her insecurities, but new relationships bring their own problems.
This is simply a plot that’s too specific, a look at a life that’s too focused, and while we can all find aspects to relate too, I’m sure, audiences will feel on the outside instead of deep within the story. The result is boredom, since not much happens but internal struggle, and for some reason we’re not privy to that. Maybe Lawrence just didn’t do a great job letting us feel those emotions; it definitely wasn’t a very strong performance. I’ve seen her do much better, and I expected much better here, but Causeway is just dull. Henry is fine, I guess, but not worth the Oscar nomination he received, and the film as a whole is so unmemorable that I can hardly recall it enough to critique it.
My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆