Hereafter revolves around three different individuals whose lives are connected by death and the afterlife: French journalist (De France) has a near-death experience, a young British boy (George and Frankie McLaren) loses his brother in a tragic accident, and George Lonegan (Damon) has supernatural abilities: he can communicate with the dead.

Off to a solid and magnificent start, Hereafter’s plot gives you a proper introduction to each and every character with enough time to become fascinated by their stories. Marie Lelay (De France) is among numerous victims who try to survive a deadly typhoon that flooded the streets of Thailand. The rushing of water destroys everything in its path, with hundreds of casualties, and the intensity of meeting death within seconds. This scene alone was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

Then the story turns to George Lonegan (Damon), a man who’s haunted by his ability to communicate with the dead. Damon gives a great performance by showing the struggles and the burden of such a gift: it can be a blessing at times, but at other times it’s a dreadful curse that he tries to escape from. This really shows when his love interest Melanie (Howard) insists on witnessing his so-called gift, even though he is obviously against it.

The third and final story involves twin brothers who live in London with their clearly irresponsible mother. Though child services are constantly on the family’s back, the death of one of the brothers makes matters even worse. Both of the McLaren brothers give a remarkable performance that could simply put other famous young talents to shame, such as Haley Joel Osment.

Under the direction of the remarkable and acclaimed Clint Eastwood, Hereafter is indeed a rich production in all its aspects. The film has great cinematography, profound acting, and a moving musical score that fits perfectly with the picture – the score is also composed by Eastwood himself.

Furthermore, the scenes filmed in Paris are presented in French as the spoken language, which is a respected and more professional attempt to make the scene more authentic, even if it might annoy audiences seeking subtitles. Director Quentin Tarantino used a similar technique in his recent hit Inglorious Bastards, which was shot mainly in German, French and Italian with very little English.

Hereafter is a well-made film with a powerful spiritual message that will compel audiences to think. The film may not be Eastwood’s best, but it’s definitely among his highlighted achievements and comes highly recommended.