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Film Review: 'A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III'

This is a film review of "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III." I also talked with the movie's director, Roman Coppola, about his roots in the Bay Area, Charlie Sheen and Bill Murray, and the theme of the movie.

'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III' is due to play in Contra Costa County theaters on March 14.

Roman Coppola’s successful career in filmmaking includes directing and screenwriting work.

His pedigree, as a filmmaker, is well-known: son to Francis Ford, brother to Sophia, and cousin to Jason Schwartzman and Nicolas Cage. He has earned his first Oscar nomination in this year’s 85th Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay for the film, “Moonrise Kingdom.” He wrote and directed his new film, “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” which is a depiction of a selfish man who experiences a rude awakening to come to terms with a life without his true love.

Charlie Sheen plays the self-obsessed man, Charles Swan, whose seemingly perfect life falls apart after the love of his life, the beautiful Ivanna, portrayed by Katheryn Winnick, breaks off the relationship. With the support of Charles’ friends and sister, played by Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Patricia Arquette, he begins the hard road of accepting and learning from his loss.

The opening scene sets the tone of the movie’s plot. Ivanna finally gets the courage to break up with Charles due to his philandering. What ensues is a characterization of the emotional pain that Charles now feels. His ego is bruised and cannot fathom that the love of his life has abandoned him. For moviegoers to be able to relate to this hurt, I highly recommend for them to recall the loss of a loved one in their lives. Think of the five stages of grief that you have experienced. You become confused as you go through the cycles of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I, myself, have experienced it.

The film’s storyline now parlays this feeling of confusion into Charles’ mind. A person who has experienced a loss from a relationship is affected by ruminating thoughts that represent the life that felt right and now is gone. Moviegoers initially will be going through a roller coaster ride of not knowing whether the scene is part of the movie’s plot or not.

This is where Coppola has exhibited his delightful inventiveness as a filmmaker. It becomes the movie’s charm with fun, playfulness and pain rolled into one. Plus, the movie’s soundtrack, by Liam Hayes, echoes very well the different human emotions.

Go see the movie with an open ‘mind.’ In fact, I’d rather say, “Go see the movie with an open heart.”

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