When veterans return to their homeland, all are hopeful they are able to resume some normalcy of life. Over more than half, come back to America physically, mentally and emotionally injured. Folks are quick to say ‘thank you for your service,” but when saying this do we realize just the amount of sacrifice given before, during and after their service for our country has ended. What is the real price paid and do they ever regain the lives they sorely want and deserve.
Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) is a military engineer who has returned to the States from Afghanistan with a debilitating brain injury after an IED explosion. Her recovery is slow and painful as she re-learns to walk and re-trains her memory, aided by a chatty but tender caretaker (Jayne Houdyshell). However, when she returns to New Orleans, Lynsey finds that she is faced with memories even more debilitating than being in the service – an unintentional reckoning with her childhood.
After securing work as a pool cleaner, her truck breaks down and she meets James Aucoin (Brian Tyree Henry).These two damaged souls’ budding friendship forms the center and heart of a quiet but devastating and ultimately uplifting story about coming to terms with the past and the present in order to move forward in life and in love.
Jennifer Lawrence is a master at conveying very little emotion on her face, yet somehow allowing audiences to peer right into her soul simply through her voice and eyes. Brian Tyree Henry’s characterization of James is loving with boundaries. He’s been damaged physically and emotionally and is comfortable enough with his vulnerability to let you know. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself and doesn’t want empathy or sympathy – simply to be accepted for who and what he is and how he chooses to navigate this second chapter of his life.
In Causeway, Lila Neugebauer, in her feature directorial debut, provides a moving portrayal of grief, trauma and friendship which builds into an emotional gut punch hitting you where it hurts, yet allows audiences the right to be in their feelings. Everyone has obstacles, insecurities and desires to be better version of themselves no matter what it may take to get there.
Causeway is now streaming on Apple TV Plus.