We gave it a B-
In telling the story of Joan (Sigourney Weaver), a Manhattan journalist who helps a fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) compose eulogies for some of the eight men in his company who died on Sept. 11, playwright Anne Nelson drew on her own experiences. Her work, directed on stage by Jim Simpson and here shaped by him into a small, heartfelt film, was one of the first artistic responses to the engulfing tragedy, and it’s ardent with a desire to mourn the dead and bond with the living. In the character of the journalist, however — an upper-middle-class woman of taste and self-regard who’d otherwise be at home in a Nora Ephron movie — a distracting narcissism often gets in the way of the honorable intentions. Every time the camera pulls in close while Joan composes speeches based on the captain’s recollections of his ”guys,” the mood of compassion is interrupted by Weaver’s typing face, signifying how cathartic it is to write on an iMac.