Even if you don’t have any friends, bad things happen, and you have strangers to rely on.
The Kindness of Strangers, directed by Danish writer-director Lone Scherfig, is a hastily drawn but warm-hearted investigation of the lives of six lonely people whose paths meet and intersect amid the backdrop of a winter New York City.
Alice works three jobs, Jeff doesn’t have a job, to begin with, and Marc is an ex-con who has difficulty opening up.
Clara, the protagonist of the narrative, has come to New York to educate her children and avoid her abusive husband. Despite a few storey gaps, the movie‘s heart appears to be in the right place.
Let us follow Clara’s journey and the strangers she encounters along the way.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Synopsis of ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ (2019) Movie
Clara takes her children, Anthony and Jude and leaves the house in Upstate NY when her husband is asleep in the middle of the night.
When Jeff tosses a chair out of his office in a fit of wrath, he loses his career as a salesman. Alice works as a nurse during the day and administers the community outreach and soup kitchen from her church office at night.
She is also the founder of the ‘Forgiveness’ support group. Timofey, or Tim Mortimer, is battling to run his family’s restaurant, the ‘Winter Palace,’ in the Russian-American section of town.
Marc, an ex-convict with restaurant management experience, arrives.
Timofey employs Marc as a manager after being impressed by his demeanour. Marc, who has a family history of addiction, attends Alice’s support group with his attorney John Peter at night.
Clara needs to feed her children, so she enters a luxury Russian American wedding and steals an appetiser tray.
Clara is caught sneaking around by Marc, but she leaves an impression on him. Clara and the kids walk into a Chinese restaurant after a few nights of wandering around motels and sleeping in the car, but her husband follows them.
Clara and the children flee through the back door and end up homeless and in need of shelter at Alice’s church.
Alice agrees to let them stay the night. Jude goes for a walk in the snow and collapses. Clara takes Jude to the hospital, where she discovers Alice is a nurse.
Jeff dabbles in various odd jobs, such as laundry and working in a soup kitchen. Every attempt he makes fails, and he ends up on the street with pneumonia. Alice brings Jeff home from the hospital and hires him as a caretaker in her office.
Clara and Anthony sleep in ‘Winter Palace’ under the piano with some inventiveness because Alice cannot keep Clara at the church. After all, Clara’s husband may hunt it out.
Marc comes across them and invites them to stay in his apartment. A strange chemistry begins to develop.
Do Marc and Clara End Up Together in ‘The Kindness of Strangers’? Is Clara Going to Win the Case?
The growing romance between Marc and Clara is the only thing keeping this mushy mess from becoming too depressing.
Clara finds refuge from her overbearing husband when Marc lets her stay at his flat (which is more of a storage room than an apartment).
Anthony thinks that Marc has a hidden agenda based on his previous maltreatment and lights into him, but Clara dissuades her kid. Marc proposes to Clara that they go for a walk one night.
Clara flees because Anthony is having nightmares. Clara and Marc, on the other hand, dance in a wedding ceremony at the Winter Palace moments later.
Anthony later claims to have seen some compromising images on his father’s computer. Clara is given a chance to reclaim custody of her children, and Marc introduces him to John Peter.
Meanwhile, Clara learns that her husband went to his father’s house and smashed a phone against his head. Clara has a slim chance of winning the lawsuit because of this development, which exemplifies her husband’s unpredictable nature.
She is also provided with a place to stay. When Clara tells Marc about it, he cuts her off in the middle and kisses her. Clara withdraws, citing the need to care for her children as her reason for doing so. After all, Clara wins the case with a bit of help from strangers.
Clara and Marc are present at Alice’s reunion, which she organises. While eating, they exchange glances. Clara later sneaks into the kitchen to tell him how much she likes him.
They did, however, say their goodbyes with a hug, leaving us with no closure, but that will come later. Clara pays a final visit to the hotel in the finale, giving Marc a little present in appreciation of everything he has done for her.
Clara aspires to go swimming sometime with the gift of swimming trunks. Marc asks Clara to grant him ten minutes, with the proposal that they go to the beach after those ten minutes.
Finally, it appears that Marc and Clara have overcome their reservations and have decided to give life another chance together.
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Is Alice Able To Keep all of her Jobs in The Movie?
For the most of the film, Alice, a compassionate and strong-willed hustler, does two jobs: a nurse during the day and a soup kitchen worker at night.
She also oversees the ‘Forgiveness’ group, which is for persons with poor self-esteem. While ‘Forgiveness’ and her volunteer work continue to flourish, Alice considers quitting her job at the hospital.
Despite her significant contributions to the betterment of the community, we learn that Alice is just as clueless about life as Jeff.
Alice confides in Jeff one night that she is no longer good with people. Alice perceives herself as someone that everyone knows, but no one cares about.
She has also reached rock bottom after four years of being unmarried.
The final moments, however, give us hope, as Alice develops a fondness for strangers and the insignificant aspects of life.
The top nurse from Alice’s hospital pays her a visit near the end of the film. When Alice expresses her desire to leave her day job, the chief nurse reveals that Alice’s work is appreciated by the general public.
However, there have also been complaints regarding the length of the waiting line. The head nurse promises Alice that the hospital will make every effort to fund the social work.
Alice restarts her support group in the comfort of the hospital in the finale, and we get the impression that she keeps both positions.
Is Jeff Able To Find Work? In the End, What Instrument Does He Play?
Jeff comes across as a complete jerk from the start of the storey. When he is trapped, he can’t keep a job and has temper tantrums.
Jeff tries his hand at laundry and the soup kitchen when his sales job is thrown out on the street along with a chair (which winds up at John Paul’s office).
Jeff is evicted from his rented flat since no one wants to hire him. Jeff is taken into the care of Alice, whom he knew from the soup kitchen, after being rescued from the street with a severe case of pneumonia. Alice drives Jeff to her church office, where he is boarded.
Jeff finally gets a job as a doorman in the Winter Palace at the end of the storey. Marc is pleased that Jeff is giving it his all, despite the fact that this job is not easy for him.
Out of sheer curiosity, he pulls a hefty instrument from the closet and begins to play it. This is the same balalaika bass that the investors inquired about with Marc.
They appeared to want to hire Marc as a doorman, but Marc had past restaurant management experience.
As a result, Tim appointed Marc as the manager while Jeff was tasked with playing the balalaika bass. He isn’t obligated to play, but he gladly accepts the challenge.