Films and Faith: 21 Grams (2003)


Location: Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Introduction by Jim Collins, Professor, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of English.

College professor Paul Rivers (Sean Penn) and his wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) find their union precariously balanced between life and death. He is mortally ill and awaiting a heart transplant, while she hopes to become pregnant with his child through artificial insemination. Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts), having matured since her reckless past, is a beloved older sister to Claudia (Clea DuVall), a good wife to Michael and loving mother to two little girls. Her family radiates hope and joy. Much farther down the socioeconomic scale, ex-con Jack Jordan (Benicio Del Toro) and his wife Marianne (Melissa Leo) struggle to provide for their two children while Jack reaffirms his commitment to religion. A tragic accident that claims several lives places these couples in each other’s orbit. In the aftermath, Paul confronts his own mortality, Cristina takes action to come to terms with her present and perhaps her future, and Jack’s faith is put to the test. If spiritual equilibrium is to be regained by any one of them, it could come at great cost to the others. Yet the will to live, and the instinct to reach out to another person for support, remains ever present among them all.

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Rated R, 124 minutes

Tickets: $6, $5 faculty/staff, $4 seniors, and $3 all students

Buy tickets online or call the ticket office at (574) 631-2800.

Sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, Department of Theology, College of Arts and Letters and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.