A Life in August Image

A Life in August

By Alan Ng | November 25, 2019

As the holiday’s approach (really it could be any time of the year), memories of our past bubble to the surface, threatening even the strongest of marriages. No, this is not Marriage Story. It’s Haston McLaren’s A Life in August. Haston, in fact, plays the husband in the relationship, Harry, who is married to Lisa (Lisa Miller).

Set in Scotland, the film opens with Harry sitting with his thoughts at his desk, the night before his friend’s funeral. Meanwhile, Lisa is in bed alone and pregnant with Harry’s first child. Ever since the news of Lisa’s pregnancy, Harry has been depressed and physically absent from her since hearing the news. He’d rather work overtime at the airplane shop than be home with Lisa.

“…since the news of Lisa’s pregnancy, Harry has been depressed and physically absent…”

The question, particularly in Lisa’s mind, is what’s going on with Harry. He pretends that it’s nothing. When confronted about his feelings, Harry gets defensive and shuts the conversation down. Lisa then makes him go to a marriage counselor, and Harry is offended by the personal assault becomes angry when she dumps her feelings on him. What’s wrong with Harry? What secret is he hiding?

Here we go. A Life in August has a lot of problems, and most of it is in its core story. It’s very thin, and there’s just not a lot of substance to it. No meat on the bone, if you will. Most of the film shows Harry as being overly depressed—one scene after another. He’s sitting, drinking, and walking everywhere to avoid his pregnant wife and that over the first hour…nothing. Then there’s wife Lisa, who complains that Harry is never home. She complains to Harry, himself. She complains to her counselor. She complains to her friend on the phone and finally to the doctor.

A Life in August (2019)

Directed and Written: Haston McLaren

Starring: Lisa Miller, Haston McLaren, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

A Life in August Image

"…makes him go to a marriage counselor, and Harry is offended by the personal assault..."

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  1. John Doc says:

    I wonder how much time and attention the reviewer invested in this film? Going with some of the statements above I would imagine not much. This film is layered in a way that you have to think about the dynamics of a relationship, use your mind to fill the blanks, engage in the subtitles and complexities that are going for this couple. Its not meant to be a shoot em up attention grabbing film. To engage in this film you have to slow your mind down and be with the couple, that is the great attraction of A Life in August. The reviewer has missed the point I feel as well as stating some inaccuracies in his observations. It is Harry’s father who has died not his friend, Lisa does not complain to her doctor and how did he come up with the term “overly depressed”? Perhaps going back to film and giving it the attention it deserves would result in a more balanced review.

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