Release date:January 25, 2008
(NY, LA; expands: Feb. 1)
MPAA Rating:R (for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity)
Screenwriters:Jieho Lee, Bob DeRosa
Starring:Kevin Bacon, Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brendan Fraser, Julie Delpy, Emile Hirsch
Four short fables in which characters collide with fate – and each other – comprise "The Air I Breathe," an ambitious and absorbing drama from debuting director/writer Jieho Lee. Boasting a brilliant ensemble cast, the film is inspired by a Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four key emotions – Happiness, Sorrow, Pleasure, and Love – and each vignette is built around a character who embodies one of these key emotions. In "Happiness," 2006 Best Actor Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker stars as a timid banker who impulsively bets every cent he has, and then some, on a supposedly "sure thing." In "Sorrow," Sarah Michelle Gellar is a rising pop star whose contract falls under the control of a ruthless crime boss (Oscar-nominee Andy Garcia), and his corrupt nephew (Emile Hirsch). In "Pleasure," Brendan Fraser stars as a man who can see into the future of everyone he meets, but is totally blind when it comes to his own; and in "Love," Kevin Bacon plays a doctor who pines for a woman he can never possess (Julie Delpy), only to find that he suddenly holds her life in his hands. Though each of the characters believes that his or her life is governed by hazard and chance, their unbridled emotions, impulsive choices, and reckless moves all prove one universal truth: character is destiny, and each of us makes our own fate.