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Hereafter (film)


Hereafter (film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Clint Eastwood
Kathleen Kennedy
Robert Lorenz
Written by Peter Morgan
Starring Matt Damon
Cécile de France
Music by Clint Eastwood
Cinematography Tom Stern
Edited by Joel Cox
Gary D. Roach
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • September 12, 2010 (2010-09-12) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • October 22, 2010 (2010-10-22)
Running time
129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[1]
Box office $105,197,635[2]

Hereafter is a 2010 American Bryce Dallas Howard, Lyndsey Marshal, Jay Mohr, and Thierry Neuvic have supporting roles.

Morgan sold the script on spec to DreamWorks in 2008, but it transferred to Warner Bros. by the time Eastwood (who has a long-standing relationship with Warner Bros.) had signed on to direct in 2009. Principal photography ran from October 2009 to February 2010 on locations in London, San Francisco, Paris, and Hawaii.

Hereafter premiered as a "Special Presentation" at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. The film was given a limited release on October 15, 2010 and was released across North America on October 22, 2010. Although a box office success, the film received mixed reviews, with critics praising the plot and acting performances, while noting that the movie suffered from a lack of focus on the story.


On assignment in Thailand, French television journalist Marie Lelay (Cécile de France) is shopping for souvenirs for her lover's children. She finds a stand where a mother and her daughter work; they sell gifts to Marie for a dollar. Her lover Didier (Thierry Neuvic) looks over the balcony and witnesses the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami coming into shore. It hits as Marie watches from a distance. She grabs hold of the girl and runs away from the shore but is quickly swallowed by the wave. Pulled lifeless from the water, she is resuscitated by rescuers but is left for dead. She gasps back to life after having a near-death experience in which she sees a vision of human figures inhabiting a realm of light, among them the silhouettes of the mother and daughter holding hands. Marie and Didier are soon reunited as the disaster subsides and they return to Paris. Marie's experience, however, interferes with her work performance to the point that Didier (who is also her producer) sends her on a leave of absence to write the book they've discussed, which would add to her prestige.

The story then turns to Lyndsey Marshal), from losing them to social services. After evading the authorities yet again, the boys' mother sends Jason to the chemist (pharmacist) to pick up her detox prescription. On the way home, Jason is attacked by street thugs, and while trying to escape, he is hit by a van and killed. No longer able to protect his mother, and barely able to cope with life without the brother he idolizes, Marcus is sent to a foster home.

Now writing a book and with more time to contemplate her near-death experience, Marie travels to Switzerland to meet a renowned specialist in the field. As the director of a hospice who has seen her share of dying patients, the doctor describes herself as a former skeptic who was convinced by the evidence that the afterlife exists and that people like Marie have had a genuine view of it. She persuades Marie to write a book on her experience in the hope that the scientific community will ultimately accept the reality of life beyond death.

Desperate for one last reunion with his twin brother, Marcus steals money from his foster parents (Charing Cross, Jason's cap, which has become a talisman for Marcus, blows off his head. Delayed by trying to find the cap, he misses his train and sees it explode in the tunnel during the 2005 London Bombings.

George enrolls in a cooking class taught by one of San Francisco's leading chefs. Its students are paired-up, resulting in George being partnered with a young woman named Melanie (François Mitterrand, Marie now stuns them with her new manuscript entitled "Hereafter: A Conspiracy of Silence". The publisher (Jean-Yves Berteloot) rejects the manuscript but soon steers her toward other publishers who might be interested, the most promising of them in London.

Marie learns from Didier that he does not intend on having her back at the job he urged her to take leave of, because her public interest in the hereafter damages her reputation as a serious journalist, and that he is having an affair with the woman who replaced her on the TV news program.

George is laid off from his factory job, and is persuaded by Billy to revive his psychic practice. Still heartbroken over the fiasco with Melanie, he changes his mind and impulsively leaves San Francisco to make a new start elsewhere. He travels to London and listens every night to audiobook readings by

Marcus lets George know where Marie is staying. George leaves an anonymous note for Marie, saying he believes her book to be true. She decides to join the anonymous fan for lunch and discovers George. While she is looking for him, George sees a vision of them kissing at the same meeting. Their shared glimpses of the hereafter having made them appreciate this life all the more, George and Marie walk away hand-in-hand.


NYFF 2010 "Hereafter" Press Conference


LA Weekly, "There's a certain charlatan aspect to the hereafter, to those who prey on people's beliefs that there's some afterlife, and mankind doesn't seem to be willing to accept that this is your life and you should do the best you can with it and enjoy it while you’re here, and that'll be enough. There has to be immortality or eternal life and embracing some religious thing. I don't have the answer. Maybe there is a hereafter, but I don't know, so I approach it by not knowing. I just tell the story."[8]

Production was based in the United Kingdom, due to tax incentives and funding from the UK Film Council, though filming locations spanned three countries.[17][19][20] Filming commenced in France on October 19, 2009.[7] A days filming was done at the old Belle Epoque, Le Grand Hôtel-Restaurant du Montenvers, in the village of Planet, near Chamonix. The hotel building was transformed into a Swiss hospice for scenes between Cécile de France and Marthe Keller. A cordon was set up around the area to prevent local residents and paparazzi taking photographs of the set, though the mayor of Chamonix was allowed through for a brief meeting with Eastwood.[12] Production then moved to Paris for four days.[12] On October 21, a short scene between de France and Mylène Jampanoï was filmed in a stairwell inside the France Télévisions building.[21]

In the first week of November, production moved to London for three weeks of filming in locations including Bermondsey and in Walworth. Scenes were also filmed on the Heygate Estate.[22] On November 7, scenes were filmed in Petticoat Lane Market and at the Cafe Le Jardin in Bell Lane.[23][24] Scenes were also filmed in an auditorium at Red Lion Square and at Camberwell New Cemetery.[25] The room was redressed to represent a fictional Center For Psychic Advancement, which the Marcus character visits.[8] De France filmed the underwater scene in a studio tank at Pinewood Studios.[26] After these scenes were shot, production was halted, as Matt Damon was working on another film.[27]

Filming resumed on January 12, 2010; Eastwood filmed scenes with de France for three days on the Hawaiian island of Maui.[28] On the first day, scenes were filmed in the lobby and guest rooms of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.[29] On January 13, scenes were filmed on Front Street in Lahaina. A hundred crew worked on the scenes.[28][30] The location managers were given permission by Lahaina authorities to close a small section of the street in order to film scenes depicting "an unnamed, South Pacific-type outdoor marketplace, complete with outdoor shopping stalls and street vendors".[30] The location manager explained to the Lahaina News, "Front Street's proximity to the water and the architecture of its buildings help supply a look that will require much less transformation towards this goal than other locations which were under consideration".[30] The street was closed off to vehicles on the evening of January 12.[30] The scene—the first scene of the film—depicts Cécile de France's character coming out of her hotel just as a tsunami hits the island. The aftermath of the tsunami was filmed on January 14 at a property in Kapalua. [31]

Production next moved to the Random House had their stands built for the three-day shoot, two months before the real London Book Fair took place.[3] Filming wrapped afterwards.[35]

Visual effects work was carried out by Los Angeles-based Scanline VFX. 169 effects were created, the key sequence of which was the tsunami, which features "full CG water shots and CG water extensions to water plates, digital doubles, CG set extensions, matte paintings, digital make-up fx and full CG environments with extensive destruction, from toppling digital palm trees to colliding digital cars".[36] An effect described as the "hereafter effect" also appears, "[giving] the viewer glimpses into the afterlife".[36]


After initial speculation by Variety that the film would be released in December 2010, Warner Bros. announced that Hereafter would go on general release in the United States and Canada on October 22, 2010.[37][38]

A pre-release screening of Hereafter was held on August 10, 2010.[39] The film had its world premiere on September 12, 2010 at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[40][41] The theatrical trailer was attached to The Town and Life as We Know It. Hereafter was also screened on October 10, 2010 as the Closing Night Film of the 48th New York Film Festival.[42] The film was given a limited release on October 15, 2010.[43]

The film premiered in Japan on February 19, 2011.[44] A few days after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the film was withdrawn from all cinemas in that country, two weeks earlier than originally planned.[45] "Warner Bros. spokesperson Satoru Otani said the film's terrifying tsunami scenes were 'not appropriate' at this time."[45]

Critical reception

Hereafter has received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 46% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 217 reviews, with an average score of 5.7 out of 10. The critical consensus is: "Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood's typical flair as director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama, straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium." [46] Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 56/100 based on 41 reviews.[47] Roger Ebert, however, gave the film four stars (out of four), calling it a film that "considers the idea of an afterlife with tenderness, beauty and a gentle tact. I was surprised to find it enthralling."[48]

The film received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but lost to another Warner Bros. film, Inception.


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  3. ^ a b c Random House (undated). "The London Book Fair to Star in Clint Eastwood's Next Film, Hereafter". Press release. Retrieved on February 1, 2010 (reprinted on Book Southern Africa).
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (September 17, 2009). "Damon set for Eastwood's 'Hereafter'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved on September 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Staff (March 3, 2010). "Matt Damon, accidental hero". Sunday Herald Sun (Herald and Weekly Times). Retrieved on March 3, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c Svetkey, Benjamin (August 20, 2010). "Fall Movie Preview: Hereafter". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc): p. 65.
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  8. ^ a b c Foundas, Scott (December 10, 2009). "Eastwood On The Pitch". LA Weekly (Village Voice Media). Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
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  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 26, 2010). "Players: Jay Mohr". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved on January 27, 2010.
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  30. ^ a b c d Vieth, Mark (December 31, 2009). "Section of Front Street to be closed while movie crew films scene". Lahaina News. Retrieved on January 2, 2010.
  31. ^ Chatenever, Rick (January 12, 2010). "Hereafter's' Maui scenes begin filming". The Maui News. Retrieved on January 12, 2010.
  32. ^ Wray, James (January 13, 2010). "In Pictures: 'Clint Eastwood Shoots 'Hereafter' in Hawaii'". Monsters and Retrieved on January 14, 2010.
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  36. ^ a b Desowitz, Bill (August 27, 2010). "VFX Fall Preview 2010: 10 Movies to Watch". (Animation World Network). Retrieved on September 4, 2010.
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  38. ^ Staff (May 5, 2010). "Warner Brothers Sets Hereafter Release for October 22nd". MovieWeb. Retrieved on May 6, 2010.
  39. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (August 12, 2010). "Today's showbiz puzzler: Why are so many old folks still so cool?". The Big Picture (Tribune Company). Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  40. ^ Punter, Jennie (August 17, 2010). "Eastwood, Boyle among new Toronto entries". (Reed Business Information). Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
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