Site not look beautiful? Click here

A&E

Film review: ‘Life in a Day’

Image
Life in a Day opens Friday.

The Details

Life in a Day
Three stars
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Rated PG-13
Beyond the Weekly
YouTube: Life in a Day
IMDb: Life in a Day
Rotten Tomatoes: Life in a Day

“Filmed by you,” trumpet the ads for Life in a Day, and maybe it was. Responding to a call for submissions on YouTube (which co-financed), 80,000 amateur videographers submitted some 4,500 hours of material, all of it shot on July 24, 2010 (local time, presumably—this is an international endeavor), from which director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) has fashioned a rapid-fire montage depicting the planet in all its varied glory, plus a little misery for balance. Think of it as a 24-hour snapshot.

On one hand, it’s hard not to respond on some level to the sheer we-are-the-world scope of the project, which does succeed, via associative editing, in creating a vivid sense that we’re all in this together. On the other hand, however, we’re basically talking about a compilation of humanity’s home movies, with an emphasis on the resolutely ordinary. Simply pulling up hundreds of YouTube videos at random and watching a few seconds of each would provide much the same experience, although you wouldn’t get specific “waking up” or “traveling to work” segments. Almost any random two minutes of the film would serve just fine as an airline’s generic “welcome aboard” imagery.

Share

Commenting Policy

Previous Discussion:

  • Not all of them can feature beloved characters like Buddy the Elf and the toys of Toy Story.

  • Over-the-top camp or disturbing psychological thriller? The movie never succeeds at either.

  • Mockingjay - Part 1 sets the stage for a more satisfying finale to the series.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story