50/50

Today was a long day at work. I am sure everybody can say their job is draining sometimes, so I don’t claim to be unique there, but today was just one of those days. I’d like to say I just write, write, write all day long, but at a newspaper it takes a lot to get to the point where you can actually start to construct a story for print. The process is what’s draining, but I do love my job and to be able to have the opportunity to tell people’s stories at the end of the day.
I hesitated to start a blog in fear I wouldn’t keep up with more writing, but I find this therapeutic. Plus, I can just focus on the words I want to say and be done with it (after reading the post out loud a few times).

With, 50/50, which I saw tonight at the Hopkins budget theater, I found a film that would be a platform to marry my career and my blogging hobby. I’ll do my best to review the story played out on screen, but if I could I’d really like to interview those who lived and created it.
50/50 is inspired by the true story of Will Reiser, who at 27 found out he had a rare form of spinal cancer. He had a 50/50 chance to live or die and judging by the sniffles in the theater (mine included) the authentic portrayal of the film’s co-writer hit home. Reiser, played as Adam by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is friends with Seth Rogen, who is a producer and co-start of the film.
Rogen brings his real life to the role as Adam’s best friend and rounding out the cast are Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick, and Angelica Houston. I didn’t realize it until I saw the credits online, but Reiser has a role in the film as a character named Greg.
So, knowing that, I’d ask him: What was it like to be a part of telling your story on screen, both writing it and then joining the cast?
Continuing on, I’d ask, did you have any hesitation about making your life into a film?
How did you contribute to the casting and with your character, Adam, how did you work with Gordon-Levitt to prepare him for the role?
Assuming Gordon-Levitt graciously accepted my interview request, I’d ask how he used Reiser’s input to develop the role and about what other resources he found helpful. In The Lookout, for example, I know he spent time with people who had suffered a brain injury, so I wonder what approach he took to get to the levels he did as Adam.
I won’t ever get the answers to those questions first hand, but I do know there is a lot of heart behind 50/50 and hope everyone takes the opportunity to see this film. It is hard to watch, it will make you laugh and cry, and you’ll leave with a true glimpse of the ups-and-downs of life.
Acting-wise the cast is flawless and I felt Gordon-Levitt and Kendrick, as Adam and his therapist, had some of the most telling scenes. Outside of that and some of Adam’s moments with his mother (Houston) Gordon-Levitt alone created some of the real tear-jerkers.
No matter how much viewers know about 50/50 before seeing it, the film and performances will surprise audiences and I’d be surprised if it and Gordon-Levitt aren’t the subject of Oscar-season buzz.

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