Film Review: Together (2021)

STUDIO: Bleecker Street | DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry | CAST: James McAvoy, Sharon Horgan
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 27, 2021
SPECS: R | 93 min. | Drama comedy

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie 

The masterful performances from James McAvoy (Split) and Sharon Horgan (TV’s Catastrophe) save the latest pandemic drama Together from falling apart.

James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan in Together

At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown an unnamed couple known only as He (McAvoy) and She (Horgan) are forced to confront their unhappy marriage while dealing with the effects of isolating at home. In between vicious, and sometimes hysterical, verbal sparring about how much they absolutely hate each other, the couple voices the angst, frustration and fear we all have been experiencing the past 18 months. (This includes the lack of supplies at the grocery story, working from home while trying to school their young son and managing the health of her mother, who was recently placed in a care home.) He and She are like two lobsters trying to escape a boiling pot of water by climbing over the other.

Designed like a staged play, all of the action is confined to the main floor of the couple’s house in appropriate claustrophobic fashion. Director Stephen Daldry’s (TV’s The Crown) camera swirls around them in long, unedited takes as they deliver most of their monologues directly to the camera.  This breaking of the fourth wall will either be accepted by some as a way to further heighten the intimacy with the characters—making them feel as though they are a guest who has been invited to quarantine along with them—or be seen by others as an overly stylized gimmick.

McAvoy and Horgan expertly handle the overlapping comedic dialogue with surgical precision while also going to great dramatic depths in the quieter, heartbreaking moments. If not for their extraordinary skill, one could get exhausted by the often preachy, condescending tone of Dennis Kelly’s (TV’s Utopia) screenplay.

It seems the mission of Together is to serve as a cautionary tale as we continue to navigate our way through a tragic global health crisis. It is a noble endeavor though one that could have been more successful with a more nuanced approach..

About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at