Jan 20, 2017 04:04 PM EST

Woody Harrelson Is Lost In London

Woody Harrelson Is Lost In London
Lost in London is a "very ambitious project" and has never been done before. Filmed live with one camera, in fourteen locations, within two city blocks, thirty actors and three hundred twenty-five crew members came together with Fathom Events to bring this eccentric and unique cinematic experience to over 550 theaters worldwide.

Starring Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games), Owen Wilson (Zoolander), and a cameo appearance by singer and songwriter, Willie Nelson, the plot was based on an actual event that took place fifteen years ago when Harrelson was arrested one night in London.  Harrelson has always been a superb actor and the characters he has played, along with his performances, have always struck me as commanding.  In Lost In London Live, at least in the beginning of the film, Harrelson did not seem comfortable in his own skin.  It seemed to be about the 20-minute mark that Harrelson finally connected with the audience.  Being a seasoned actor, one would assume that due to how much Harrelson had invested in this film, that he was simply nervous but until that passed, his acting seems to be lacking the depth and warmth he usually exudes, even when playing the villain.    Clearly, the sarcastic Woody Harrelson was on sabbatical for the first part of the film, yet he soon opened up- and loosened up to where there was that connection.  Nonetheless, Harrelson never seemed to reach the potential that he's shown us in almost every role he's played previously. 

Owen Wilson, on the other hand, seemed natural and lively.  The Owen Wilson we typically see on screen was present in the live film.  When Wilson appeared, Woody Harrelson's acting seemed to loosen up and he seemed more comfortable in his own skin.  The partnership between Wilson and Harrelson enhanced the performances and the storyline greatly.  The banter between these two actors brought some relief to the storyline, which was becoming a tangled web.  Wilson brought some familiarity to the audience and seemed to assist straightening out what was turning out to be a hot mess of a script.   Out of all the acting relationships present, it was the chemistry between Wilson and Harrelson that kept the film alive. 

The plot was very choppy and was often missing the cohesiveness good movies contain. Even though the storyline was "follow-able", it just wasn't a typical Harrelson movie and often didn't make sense, yet the ending was predictable. You almost had to will yourself through the beginning of the film to get there.  

Shot in 4k with one camera, the Q & A afterwards actually seemed crisper and clearer than the actual movie, itself.  The film's cinematography was interesting, but the challenging part seemed to be keeping the camera from shaking.  At some parts, the screen just seemed to be unstable.  Nonetheless, the camera followed the actors well and the cameraman did an absolute amazing job of focusing the audience on one area of the screen while set changes went unnoticed and were executed flawlessly. Usually more focused on the screenplay and storyline of a film than I am the cinematography or camera action, I was impressed with much of the cinematography.  Lost in London Live's unique filming was incredibly captivating.  A clear, outstanding aspect of this film was the location changes and the comparative smooth flowing of filming each location. 

After the presentation, Woody Harrelson participated in a live Q & A with other cast and production members.  Commenting on an acting snafu during the live filming and showing the issue, it was clear that the actors are able to improvise and fill in issues without the audience even realizing any issues.  The Q & A added interesting details to the filming, including the fact that they rehearsed for four weeks, as Ell as Owen Wilson likening the filming of Lost in London to theater.  Watching Harrelson and his crew banter on stage live and answer questions from the worldwide audience is an added bonus and well worth staying after the film to see. 

Harrelson directed, wrote, and starred in Lost in London Live.  To watch an actor direct himself and everyone else while acting live is an interesting experience.  It brings to light the incredible talent Harrelson has within him.  For all the deficits in the actual film and cinematography, Harrelson should be given credit for this immense project he took on to being an incredible experience to the audience.  

Overall, with a better plot, this could have been a magical experience.  Harrelson will remain one of my favorite actors but he has a specific genre he excels at and this did not bring out those qualities we look forward to seeing on screen.  Regardless, kudos to Harrelson for taking the initiative to bring this amazing experience to all and a special thanks to Fathom Events for ensuring Harrelson's idea was presented to audiences worldwide.   The effort and acting ability to the improvisation needed to make this a seamless performance, along with the actual filming that changed locations and sets live, is a definite 5-star rating.  Unfortunately, the plot fell flat and the saving grace was the banter between friends and Daniel Radcliffe's (Harry Potter) appearance at the very end.  Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing more of Harrelson's up and coming ideas on the big screen.  Knowing Harrelson, it's only going to become bigger and better. 

For those searching for more events by Fathom, you can visit their website at http://www.fathomevents.com/ to see a schedule of all the upcoming events at a local theater near you. 

About Jennifer Broderick

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