A Long Way Down

Directed by Pascal Chaumeil
  • UK
  • 96 minutes
  • 2013

Disgraced chat show host Martin Sharp (Pierce Brosnan) knows he’s reached rock bottom one New Year’s Eve when he finds himself standing on the roof of London’s premier suicide spot. But his efforts to end it all are thwarted by the arrival of a motley crew of fellow suicides, including JJ (Aaron Paul), a failed rock star with terminal cancer; Jess (Imogen Poots), an MP’s neglected daughter; and single mother Maureen (Toni Collette), struggling to care for her severely disabled son. The foursome make a pact not to kill themselves before Valentine’s Day, but when the media get wind of the story, they find themselves forming the unlikeliest of support groups.


Director Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) brings a delightful vein of gallows humour to this unflinching – and ultimately uplifting – tale about finding reasons to live, adapted from Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. Toni Collette is touching as downtrodden Maureen and Imogen Poots is on scene-stealing form as the sharp-tongued Jess, but it’s Brosnan’s turn as the washed-up Sharp, whose desperation is thinly concealed beneath a layer of urbanity and charm, that lends the film its smart and steely edge.

Alistair Daniel
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots