All the Bright Places (2020)


All the Bright Places (2020)

The story of Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, who meet and change each other's lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they come together, discovering that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.
IMDb  6.5 /10
Metacritic   61%
Director Brett Haley
Writer Jennifer Niven
Writer Liz Hannah
Release Date2020-02-28
Runtime1h 47mins
GenreDrama, Romance
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
CompanyEcho Lake Entertainment, Mazur / Kaplan Company

All the Bright Places (film)

All the Bright Places is a 2020 American teen romantic drama film, directed by Brett Haley, from a screenplay by Jennifer Niven and Liz Hannah, based upon the novel of the same name by Niven. It stars Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Alexandra Shipp, Kelli O'Hara, Lamar Johnson, Virginia Gardner, Felix Mallard, Sofia Hasmik, Keegan-Michael Key and Luke Wilson.

It was released on February 28, 2020, by Netflix.


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Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are two teenagers who live unhappily in a small Indiana town. Violet is quietly dealing with Survivor Guilt, and Finch is a loner, called a freak by other students. They met on the bridge where her sister had died from a car crash they were both in nine months ago. Violet has not been in a car since. Finch climbed up next to her, talking her down from a possible suicide.

He starts a partnership with Violet for a school project in which they need to explore Indiana together. Later, at home, Finch looks up Violet on Facebook, remembering about the car accident, and chatting with her online.

Finch and Violet travel around Indiana to see important or unusual sites for the project. Finch pushes Violet to get in the car, and go back to writing. He helps her begin to talk about her sister's death, which noone else had managed to do. Violet slowly begins to heal. They find a mini roller coaster, the highest point in Indiana etc. The actual sites aren't what’s important, but what the exploring means to both of them. They fall in love.

Finch, however, continues with erratic behavior. He sometimes disappears for days at a time without contact with anyone. He had been beaten by his father as a child, his mother is absent in his life and he is bullied at school. Finch suffers from depression, and feels isolated. He tries to organize his thoughts by writing out notes on post its. He also refuses to be diagnosed because the labels make him feel trapped. The one shining spot in his life is his blossoming relationship with Violet.

On one occasion they accidentally stay out until the next morning, upsetting Violet's parents. This begins a downward spiral for Finch, He tries to get help through a support group in a nearby town. There, he runs into Amanda, Violet’s friend. Violet is obviously worried and tries to help. Finch explodes, angry at her concern, even though she seems to understand him best, and the two get in a big fight.

Finch disappears again, and Violet goes looking for him. She fears that he may have hurt himself, and her dad sparks her to drive to the Blue Hole. She sees Finch’s clothes on the rocks, inferring his death. When she discovers she is right, she becomes distraught. She finds the map they used to wander with, and the last location they were supposed to visit together is marked in red. It’s the Travelers’ Prayers Chapel, where she finds his name in the guest book. This helps the healing process and making Violet realize that Finch's suicide was not her fault.

The last scene is with Violet swimming by herself in the Blue Hole, where she had been swimming with Finch, bringing her peace. She learns the importance of the small, bright things in life, that even the smallest moments can mean something.


  • Elle Fanning as Violet Markey
  • Justice Smith as Theodore Finch
  • Alexandra Shipp as Kate Finch
  • Kelli O'Hara as Sheryl Markey
  • Lamar Johnson as Charlie
  • Virginia Gardner as Amanda
  • Felix Mallard as Roamer
  • Sofia Hasmik as Brenda
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Richard
  • Luke Wilson as James Markey


In July 2015, it was announced that Elle Fanning would star in All the Bright Places, with author Jennifer Niven writing the adapted screenplay. In July 2015, it was announced that Miguel Arteta would be directing the film. In July 2018, Justice Smith joined the cast of the film, with Brett Haley replacing Arteta as director, and Liz Hannah co-writing the script with Niven. Echo Lake Entertainment and FilmNation Entertainment produced the film, with Fanning, Paula Mazur, Mitchell Kaplan, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding and Brittany Kahn serving as producers, while Hannah served as an executive producer.

In October 2018, Alexandra Shipp, Keegan-Michael Key, Luke Wilson, Kelli O'Hara, Virginia Gardner, Felix Mallard, Lamar Johnson and Sofia Hasmik joined the cast of the film, with Netflix distributing. Principal photography began on October 4, 2018, in Elyria, Ohio.


The film was released on February 28, 2020.

Critical reception

As of June 2020, All The Bright Places holds a 66% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.33/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Though it at times buckles under the emotional weight of its source material, All The Bright Place succeeds on the strength of Elle Fanning and Justice Smith's charming and tender performances." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 61 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Kimber Myers of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review writing: "Though it's not without humor, "All the Bright Places" takes teens' emotions seriously and will move romantics of any age - in possibly unexpected ways." Courtney Howard of Variety gave the film a positive review writing: "Its pure beating heart and humanistic undertones make it somewhat of a standout." Candice Frederick of The New York Times also gave the film a positive review writing: "Smith and Fanning bring thoughtful performances to this delicate tale." Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars writing: "There's messaging inserted near the start of the end credits for those who might be affected by the themes raised. But it doesn't negate what comes before it: a film that lingers briefly in the deep end but remains disappointingly shallow."