Catching up With the Renners: 12 and Holding

When the cat’s away, the mouse will watch old movies, so here’s a lovely movie about death, love and growing up from 2005, co-starring my NSSCC (not-so-secret celebrity crush) Jeremy Renner as an ex-firefighter with a nightmare-inducing secret. Secrets and dreams play a big role for all the major characters in this well-woven tale, some of which result from the tragic death of a young boy, some of which are brought to light by the same event. A few of the reviewers on Netflix likened “12 and Holding” to “Stand By Me“. Granted, the two are connected by similar themes, but the pitfall of comparing a film to a classic is certainly that the newer film kind of falls short. Three friends must deal with the sudden death of the boy, but their stories begin to grow apart as each child takes a different approach, and although each storyline finds its own conclusion, we end up with three separate threads instead of one all-encompassing finale.

One thing I noticed last night, which holds true for pretty much all Renner films I’ve seen so far, is that JR can go two ways: either he ends up wearing a uniform of some kind (“28 Weeks Later”, “The Hurt Locker”, “The Town”) or he takes his clothes off (“Dahmer”, “12”, “Neo Ned”). I almost dare say that the more dramatic the role, the less he wears. Not that I’m complaining… 😉 Two notable exceptions are actually “Hurt Locker” and “The Unusuals”: we get JR in uniform and out of (most) of his clothes. So, I’m a big proponent to the idea that nudity is a good thing when it furthers the plot development…

But I digress. “12” was never high on my list of films to watch, but I do recommend it. It contains a few truly heartbreaking moments and a wonderful cast of people we don’t get to see like this very often, like Annabella Sciorra as young Malee’s psychotherapist mother or Linus Roache as the dead boy’s bereaved father.

Favorite Renner moment: oddly, I don’t have one. It feels inappropriate to reduce JR to mere ogleworthiness in this, because for once, all the nudity DOES further the plot development.

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