We have and haven’t come a long way with racism in American film. On the one hand, Halle Berry, as a black woman, had to fight for her role in Things We Lost in the Fire. On the other hand, she got to play the eventually color-blind part of a wife and mother dealing with grief.

With David Duchovny as the husband and Benecio Del Toro as the best friend, Things We Lost in the Fire demonstrates admirable overall casting based on people, not skin color, cultural affiliation or even nationality. Unfortunately, progressive casting choices do not necessarily equal a good movie.

Directed by the talented Danish director, Suzanne Bier, Things We Lost in the Fire loses something in translation. Rather than bringing something original to the table, Bier directs scenes and actors in the picture with heavy-handed symbolism and regrettable mawkishness.

Grade: C

Things We Lost in the Fire is currently available.