Brilliantly cast, beautifully acted, “Causeway” is an example of the kind, if modestly superior, film we rarely see, and we’re grateful that lead actor and producer Jennifer Lawrence and Apple TV+ made it a reality. Made. The film, set in New Orleans, is the story of two deeply damaged people who find each other and form a relationship that is as sweet as it gets. Directed by noted theater veteran Lila Neugebauer (TV’s “The Maids”), “Causeway” opens with scenes from a severely disabled young veteran we’ll come to know as Lynsey (Academy Award winner Lawrence). , who is assisted by caregiver Sharon (Jane Hudishill). Little Women”). At this stage Lynsey can do almost nothing for herself. Sharon wheels her around and helps her with everything.

But Lynsey quickly gets better, and soon, armed with pain and nerve drugs like Cymbalta and Ativan, Lynsey returns to the home she left in Afghanistan after joining the army. While serving there in the Army Corps of Engineers, she was involved in an IED attack that left her with a “cerebral hemorrhage.” The house he has left is where his mother Gloria (the wonderful Linda Emond) and his brother (Russell Harvard), who is not around, live. Lynsey takes an odd job cleaning pools for a local business. On a drive, her 1980s-era truck starts smoking, though she manages to get it to a repair shop, where she meets friendly mechanic James (Brian Tyree-Henry), a one-legged He is young. We will learn that James’ leg was lost in a car accident on the “causeway” across Lake Pontchartrain that killed two loved ones. James was driving.

Written by Boston-born Otissa Moshfeig, with Luke Goebel and Elizabeth Sanders, all making their feature debuts, “Causeway” is reminiscent of many films made in the wake of our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as that “In the Valley of Allah” (2004), “Home of the Brave” (2006) and “Stop Loss” (2008). Lynsey and James discovered that they had a passion for vintage rhythm and blues. James is straightforward and unattached. Lynsey is gay and unattached. They need friendship and sympathy more than anything else. They find these things in each other. They also share their sense of loss and pain with each other. We don’t see any disturbing flashbacks to the events that traumatized both the characters.

Lynsey’s mother likes to party and makes a lot of noise at night. James, who lives alone in his family’s home, offers Lancey to stay with him. We wish these two would be a couple, but it’s probably not in the cards. Lynsey tells James that she takes “don’t shoot yourself” drugs. James takes off his prosthesis to swim in the client’s pool with Lancey. A montage of New Orleans’ beautiful, underground pools is oddly comforting. Although Lynsey suffers from sudden panic attacks, she wants to redeploy. As her skeptical doctor, Stephen McKinley Henderson is, as always, outstanding. Lynsey and her mom sit together in six inches of water in a blow-up pool to cool off. Not much happens in “Causeway” and yet it seems static from life. A large part of this can be attributed to how much time we love to spend with these actors. Lawrence and Henry have the charisma and chemistry to burn. At 92 minutes, “Causeway” is a treat for superhero movies.

(“Causeway” contains profanity, drug use and sexually suggestive material)

Movie review

“The Causeway”

Rated R on Apple+.

Grade: A-