Sneak Peek: The 9th Life of Louis Drax
After surviving eight near-death accidents throughout his unlucky life, Louis Drax [Aiden Longworth] plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday. While police investigate the cause of Louis’ near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father Peter [Aaron Paul], acclaimed neurologist Dr. Allan Pascal [Jamie Dornan] uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition. But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’ seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’ mother, Natalie [Sarah Gadon]. As new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him.
Cast: Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aaron Paul, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Barbara Hershey
Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Screenplay By: Max Minghella
Based On The Book By: Liz Jensen
Produced By: Tim Bricknell, Shawn Williamson, Alexandre Aja, Max Minghella
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Distributor: Summit Premiere
This transcript has been lightly edited:
The Referee: The Critic got a chance to get a Sneak Peek at a new movie coming out, called “The 9th Life of Louis Drax.” Now, say that fives times fast. (laughter) And, it is starring a very well-known person: Jamie Dornan, who we’ve talked about with “Anthropoid,” and you know him from … sexy things. (laughter)
The Critic: Uh-oh. (laughter)
Ref: “50 Shades.” But, not only that, we have Sarah Gadon and a ton of other people that we’ll talk a little bit about. It’s directed by Alexandre Aja [“Asia”]. I’m assuming that’s how you say his name.
Critic: I think it’s “Eye-Yah,” something like that.
Ref: You know what, I had a friend; she spelled it that way, and she pronounced it, “Asia.” (laughter) So, “Eye-Yah”: A-J-A.
Ref: And, it’s based on a Liz Jensen novel, but adapted by Max Minghella. So, let’s dive into this, ‘cause I don’t know much about it.
Critic: Yeah, well, what happens is: So, Louis Drax is this little boy. He turns nine years old. Now, up to his ninth birthday, he’s had eight near-death accidents.
Ref: Oh, boy.
Critic: So, one for every birthday. And, his ninth birthday gives him his ninth accident: He falls off of a cliff; that’s what happens. He’s in the hospital. And, you know, is he braindead or not? You know, that’s the question. He’s played by Aiden Longworth, and his parents are played by Sarah Gadon — as you said, that’s his mother — and Aaron Paul is the pappy.
Ref: Oh, boy. Aaron Paul is popping up everywhere. I tell you. He said, “‘Breaking Bad,’ deuces! Here, I am: film career!” (laughter)
Critic: Yeah, and everything else.
Critic: So, here’s the thing, though — because Louis keeps telling people, including his therapist, “Look, I’m just accident-prone. It’s just, I’m accident-prone.” But, do they believe him? Is it the father? ‘Cause, the father is very violent, so it seems.
Ref: Mm. Mm.
Critic: Maybe it’s him, but the mother won’t agree to that. Louis won’t agree to that. Or, is it something else? So, what happens is: When he’s in this coma, a neurologist is brought in; he’s on the cutting edge. And he’s played by Jamie Dornan —
Ref: Yeah, yeah, yeah …
Critic: And, you know he sees Sarah Gadon and starts getting those goo-goo eyes. Yes. So, he tries to figure out a way to communicate with Louis to get him out of this coma. Does that happen? We don’t know. Now, I will tell you this: Before that happened, the therapist is played by Oliver Platt!
Ref: (laughing) Oh, I love Oliver Platt. I do.
Critic: Yes, so great cast. By the end of this, again, the question’s gonna be: What has caused all of these accidents? What or who is it?
Critic: OK. Now, here’s the thing: When I liked “The 9th Life of Louis Drax” was typically when they had these sweeping moments. You get the music going; you get all of these visuals; it becomes very fantastical. That’s when it took me away, like Calgon.
Critic: Outside of that, though, when it got down to just the basic scenes … it didn’t have the magic —
Critic: — that I wanted. Louis Drax, the character, is: You’re either gonna love him or hate him. He’s that kind of kid. He says what’s on his mind; he will call you out in your face. So, that was an interesting twist. So, you know, you have that going on, where you go, “Oh, am I with him or not?” So, what I would say is: Hey, you know, this, to me … is a rental. I have to be honest. I don’t really see why you would pay to go to a theater to see it.
Critic: Also, with Sarah Gadon, which was interesting, she looked like she was out of the ‘50s.
Ref: Oh! OK.
Critic: The way she was dressed — and that was an interesting thing, ‘cause it’s not a period piece. They’re in San Francisco, I believe.
Critic: So, you know, you have that kind of seascape.
Critic: You have that kind of look. It did look really good. I will say, though — another positive to end on a positive note — Aaron Paul’s work: The end of this movie didn’t work for me; you’ll have to watch it to find out if it works for you. But, regardless, Aaron Paul has a pivotal role there, and he does beautiful work!
Ref: Oh, wow!
Critic: I was like, “Yes! It may not be working for me, but what you’re doing, Aaron Paul, was wonderful.” So, it’s a mixed bag. Again, I would say, rent it. I don’t know about going to the movie theater, though. Sorry.
Ref: OK. Well, you know what? That’s a good take on it, ‘cause not everything is a movie-going experience. Sometimes, you just wanna snuggle up on your bed or with your laptop or in front of your television and watch a movie. So, thank you for that. Again, the movie is coming out on September 2.
Ref: And, you can catch it at a theater near you, hopefully, or you can wait for it to come out on rental.