Next Friday, Oct. 19, marks the opening of Halle Berry‘s newest film, Things We Lost in the Fire. Besides the general goodness of seeing the beyond fabulous AfterEllen.com Hottie No. 19 on the big screen, we get a bonus: This time there are no pleather costumes, no mutants. Indeed, there’s not much action at all — just Berry and her talents (and a few other folks, I suppose, in particular costar Benicio Del Toro). [Warning: Minor spoilers.]
The drama, Danish director Susanne Bier‘s U.S. debut, does start out with a violent death. But Things We Lost isn’t a ghost story or even a revenge fantasy. Instead, the story follows Berry’s character Audrey Burke as she mourns the murdered Brian (David Duchovny) while caring for their two children and building a friendship with his troubled best friend Jerry (Del Toro).
It’s been far too long since Berry was able to dig deep into a role like this. Although her performance as Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God was beautiful, the made-for-TV adaptation was an overall disappointment, and Monster’s Ball was way back in 2001. 2001! Rather than spend my time wondering how it could’ve taken so long to get her back into a dramatic picture, I’m just going to enjoy this moment and all the Berry-time that it brings.
The Oscar winner interviewed with Oprah recently and will receive the late-night treatment this Friday night, Oct. 12. I’m just hoping that Letterman will bring up something besides her pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for (other people’s) babies, and the new mom-to-be is downright adorable when talking about it, but seriously — skilled actor in a new role that’s already generating Oscar buzz and babies are the only focus of conversation?
I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much, because Berry-with-baby is better than no Berry at all — and because if I were the one doing the interviewing, I’d likely be unable to form coherent sentences about babies, Oscars or anything at all.
Early reviews of Things We Lost are positive, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing it. Between Berry and Bier, it’s got a strong-woman factor that I can’t resist, and although the trailer indicates a few awkward moments, it looks to me like a genuine, no-frills drama — a good thing in my book. To gear up for next weekend’s opening, watch the trailer here, then catch Berry on the small screen Friday night at 11:35 p.m. ET.