“Seagrass” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download

seagrass 2024 (via Primetweets)

“Do you need a reason to be unhappy,” asks Carol (Sarah Gadon) in Meredith Hama-Brown’s effective character study “Seagrass,” the story of how grief often begets other repressed emotions and possibly even tragedies. There’s something fascinating in that question in that it gets at how often depression can be like a snake eating its tail — the idea that we need a reason to be unhappy and that something is wrong with us when the lives that should satisfy us somehow fail to do so. Hama-Brown’s script is constantly bringing these complex emotional issues to the surface, smartly sketching people who feel so real that it’s easy to see ourselves in them. There’s a remarkable scene in which the increasingly troubled Steve (Luke Roberts) is being pressured to express what he’s feeling in a group session, and he barks back, “I don’t have any f*cking words, OK?!?!” The strength of Hama-Brown’s film is how deftly it captures that feeling that emotion can’t always be expressed through language.

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That exercise that cracks Steve takes place at a couples retreat that he’s attending with his wife Judith (Ally Maki) and daughters Stephanie (Nyha Huang Breitkreuz) and Emmy (Remy Marthaller). Judith has recently lost her mother, and the grief has sent her marriage into something of a tailspin. They both seem to be actively engaged with trying to mend broken bridges, but there are early signs that this venture was Judith’s idea, and Steve is attending reluctantly. Meanwhile, the teenage Stephanie makes friends with girls of a similar age while the younger Emmy seems more prone to fear, fascinated by the story that a nearby cave can allow communication with the other side. Maybe she can see grandma again.

Don’t worry — “Seagrass” isn’t a traditional ghost story, and yet it also kind of is on an emotional level. It’s about the specters of decisions we make as adults regarding family and partners. It’s about that feeling that we wish we knew more about the ones we can no longer learn about — Judith regrets every time new friends Pat (Chris Pang) and Carol ask questions about her mom that she can’t answer. Grief isn’t just about loss, it’s about regret over every conversation we never had with people who are gone.

As Judith and Steve push through counseling that seems to be pulling them further apart, they start to emotionally fracture in a way that threatens their entire family. Pat and Carol become a dangerous comparison in that they represent a false ideal — the “If they can do it, then so can we” mentality that often poisons actual growth. Hama-Brown’s film keenly understands the human capacity to compare grief and struggle, often minimizing and simplifying both in ways that can become tragic.

That sense of imminent tragedy makes a lot of “Seagrass” play out like a slow-burn thriller, one of those timeless stories of adults who get so caught up in their own nonsense that their children suffer, often quite literally. The foreboding is so resonant that even a scene wherein Emmy slowly moves across a pool to a purple ball that she’s been eying feels somehow both joyous and slightly terrifying at the same time — kind of like childhood.

There’s an undercurrent of jealousy that begins to form from Steve to Pat that feels a bit overplayed but it’s ultimately really just a wedge for other more interesting themes to get through the door. I also can’t help but shake the feeling that this kind of tight, character-driven storytelling works better if it’s not close to two hours long. Hama-Brown has a habit of lingering a bit too long in scenes, especially ones with the children being ordinary children, although both Breitkreuz and Marthaller are so naturally excellent that it’s hard to blame her for wanting to spend time with the kind of youthful joy that exists before people grow up and start asking themselves why they’re unhappy.

Seagrass movie poster

Seagrass (2024)

115 minutes


Ally Makias Judith

Luke Robertsas Steve

Chris Pangas Pat

Nyha Huanga Breitkreuzas Stephanie

Remy Marthalleras Emmy

Hannah Bosas Sam

Benjamin Goasas Matt

Danielle Klaudtas Leanne


  • Meredith Hama-Brown


  • Meredith Hama-Brown

“Seagrass” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download


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