Like A House On Fire: Review

Dara (Sarah Sutherland) has been drinking since she was 14. She grew up and married Danny (Jared Abrahamson) and they had a little girl called Isabel (Margaux Vaillancourt). However, Dara’s drinking became a problem over the years and when Isabel was two years old, she decided to leave her and Danny behind.

Two years later, Dara decides that the time is right to come back and try to make amends to what she did to Danny and her daughter. The problem is that Danny really doesn’t want her to come back and Isabel doesn’t remember her own mother. So, all Dara can do is to try her best to fit in with her family and get her life back.

Like a House on Fire is an emotional drama written and directed by Jesse Noah Klein about a woman trying to pick up the pieces of her life after succumbing to addiction. Gently paced, the story takes its time to tell the audience about Dara’s life and the repercussions of her actions.

The script does so by cleverly interweaving these details, making the film feel like the audience aren’t being preached about the dangers of addiction either. Slowly letting the audience into Dara’s world, they soon come to realise what Dara has done, what she’s sacrificed and how difficult it must have been.

Sarah Sutherland gives a great performance as Dara, a woman clearly desperate to get back the people she holds so dear, yet knows all too well what price it could pay. Beautifully shot with a great cast including Margaux Vaillancourt who is adorable as the child caught between the family issues that she’s too young to understand.

There is an issue that the story may be a little too predictable for audiences, but thankfully the performances and the tight script will manage to keep their interest even if they may know where it’s going.

Also, there could have been a tendency for Like A House on Fire to go into melodrama, trying to showcase an actor’s ability with dealing with scenes that exploit addiction. Luckily though, the characters and script have been very well thought out and the issues raised are dealt with sensitively.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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