Clarisse Demers

Written by Clarisse Demers

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to the fascinating world of “The Upside of Anger,” a critically acclaimed movie that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Released in 2005, this thought-provoking film explores the complexities of human relationships, personal growth, and finding solace in unexpected places. Starring the legendary Joan Allen and the charismatic Kevin Costner, “The Upside of Anger” offers a compelling narrative filled with laughter, tears, and powerful performances. In this article, we will delve into 42 fascinating facts about this captivating movie, giving you a deeper appreciation for its behind-the-scenes secrets, memorable moments, and the impressive cast and crew. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to dive into the world of “The Upside of Anger.”

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Upside of Anger” is a captivating drama-comedy with a talented cast, relatable themes, and powerful performances that continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.
  • The movie explores complex emotions, family dynamics, and the transformative power of forgiveness, making it a timeless classic in the world of cinema.
Table of Contents

Kevin Costner’s Return to the Big Screen

After a brief hiatus from acting, “The Upside of Anger” marked Kevin Costner’s return to the big screen. His portrayal of Denny Davies, a retired baseball player, earned him praise from critics and fans alike.

Directed by Mike Binder

The movie was directed and written by Mike Binder, who also played a supporting role in the film. Binder’s unique storytelling style, combined with his ability to portray complex relationships, brought depth to the movie’s plot.

Joan Allen’s Stunning Performance

Joan Allen delivered a powerful performance as Terry Ann Wolfmeyer, a mother struggling with her husband’s disappearance. Her portrayal of a strong yet vulnerable character earned her critical acclaim and several awards.

The Upside of a Talented Cast

In addition to Kevin Costner and Joan Allen, the movie boasted an impressive ensemble cast, including Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, and Keri Russell. Their chemistry on-screen brought the characters to life.

Filmed in Michigan

The movie was filmed in various locations in Michigan, including Bloomfield Hills and Clarkston. The beautiful landscapes and suburban settings added authenticity to the story.

Exploring Themes of Anger and Redemption

“The Upside of Anger” delves into deep themes of anger, loss, and redemption. The emotional journey of the characters resonated with audiences and highlighted the complexities of human emotions.

A Blend of Drama and Comedy

The film skillfully balances moments of intense drama with lighthearted comedic elements. This unique blend of genres made “The Upside of Anger” stand out and created an engaging viewing experience.

Original Soundtrack by Alex Wurman

The movie’s soundtrack, composed by Alex Wurman, perfectly complemented the emotional tone of the film. The music added depth and enhanced the overall cinematic experience.

Nominated for Several Awards

The Upside of Anger” received critical acclaim and was nominated for numerous awards, including the Satellite Award for Best Actress for Joan Allen and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.

An Exploration of Family Dynamics

The film delves into the complexities of family dynamics, portraying the joys and challenges of familial relationships. It offers a realistic and heartfelt portrayal of the ups and downs that come with being part of a family.

Relatable and Well-Developed Characters

The characters in “The Upside of Anger” are multi-dimensional and relatable. Each character brings their unique struggles and personalities to the story, making them feel like real people.

Filming Challenges

During the filming of “The Upside of Anger,” the production faced multiple challenges, including weather disruptions and logistical issues. However, these obstacles were overcome, resulting in a seamless final product.

A Story of Female Empowerment

The film showcases the strength and resilience of its female characters. It explores themes of empowerment and self-discovery, making it inspirational for audiences, especially women.

The Upside of Anger’s International Success

“The Upside of Anger” garnered international recognition and success, appealing to audiences beyond its home country. It became a beloved film in various countries and continues to resonate with viewers worldwide.

A Thought-Provoking Script

The film’s script, written by Mike Binder, is intelligent and thought-provoking. It presents nuanced dialogue and explores complex themes, making it a standout in its genre.

Authentic Portrayal of Grief

The movie authentically portrays the grief experienced by its characters, capturing the various stages and emotions associated with loss. It offers a realistic representation of the grieving process.

Positive Reception from Critics

“The Upside of Anger” received positive reviews from critics, who praised its performances, storytelling, and emotional depth. The film’s ability to strike a chord with audiences was widely recognized.

Exploring Midlife Crisis

The film touches upon the theme of midlife crisis and the search for purpose and meaning. It offers insights into the challenges and opportunities that come with this transitional period of life.

Inspiring Performances by the Supporting Cast

While Kevin Costner and Joan Allen shone in their leading roles, the supporting cast delivered exceptional performances as well. Their talent brought depth and authenticity to the characters.

Realistic and Relatable Dialogues

The dialogues in the film are natural and relatable, capturing the essence of everyday conversations. This realism enhances the overall authenticity of the characters and their relationships.

Costner’s Immersive Preparation

To accurately portray his baseball-playing character, Kevin Costner immersed himself in the world of baseball. He underwent intense training to ensure his on-screen performance was convincing and authentic.

Explore the Upside of Anger

The movie prompts viewers to explore the concept of the “upside of anger,” offering a fresh perspective on the complexities of human emotions. It encourages introspection and empathy.

The Importance of Forgiveness

“The Upside of Anger” explores the transformative power of forgiveness. It highlights the healing that can come from letting go of anger and embracing forgiveness.

Impactful Cinematography

The film’s cinematography is visually stunning, capturing the emotional essence of each scene. The use of lighting, framing, and camera angles adds depth and enhances the storytelling.

A Tale of Second Chances

The movie revolves around the concept of second chances. It emphasizes the potential for growth, redemption, and the ability to rebuild one’s life after hardship.

An Exploration of Unconventional Relationships

The Upside of Anger” delves into the realm of unconventional relationships, exploring the dynamics and complexities of non-traditional family structures. It challenges societal norms and offers a fresh perspective.

Impressive Box Office Performance

The film performed well at the box office, attracting a wide audience and generating substantial revenue. Its success further solidified its reputation as a must-see movie.

Delving into Motherhood

The movie provides insights into the challenges and triumphs of motherhood. It portrays the unique experiences faced by Terry Ann Wolfmeyer and other mothers, resonating with audiences who can relate to these themes.

An Emotional Rollercoaster

The Upside of Anger” takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, evoking a range of feelings from laughter to tears. This emotional depth makes the film a truly engrossing experience.

A Testament to Strong Female Characters

The film celebrates strong female characters who defy societal expectations. It showcases their resilience, determination, and ability to navigate life’s challenges on their own terms.

Inspiration for Personal Growth

“The Upside of Anger” serves as an inspiration for personal growth and self-discovery. It encourages viewers to reflect on their own lives and embrace positive changes.

A Journey of Self-Reflection

The movie prompts viewers to engage in self-reflection, encouraging introspection and the exploration of one’s own emotions. It sparks meaningful conversations and insights.

Themes of Loss and Healing

“The Upside of Anger” beautifully illustrates the process of healing from loss. It sensitively explores the grief experienced by the characters and offers hope for recovery.

Portrayal of Female Friendships

The film celebrates female friendships and the support system they provide. It highlights the importance of having strong bonds and a network of friends who can help navigate life’s challenges.

The Ups and Downs of Life

The film captures the ups and downs that are an inherent part of life. It portrays the complexities of human existence and encourages viewers to embrace both the highs and lows.

A Reminder of the Power of Love

“The Upside of Anger” reminds audiences of the transformative power of love. It portrays the healing that can come from genuine connections and highlights the importance of compassion and understanding.

Royalties and Soundtrack Success

The film’s original soundtrack, featuring artists like Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, experienced success of its own. It garnered positive reviews and royalties, further contributing to the overall popularity of the film.

A Reflection of Real Life

“The Upside of Anger” reflects the realities of life, depicting relatable scenarios and emotions. It resonates with viewers by capturing the complexities of human relationships and the challenges we face.

Release and Distribution

The film was released by New Line Cinema and distributed worldwide, allowing audiences from different countries to enjoy this compelling story.

Relevance Even Years After its Release

Despite being released in 2005, “The Upside of Anger” remains relevant today. Its themes of love, loss, and personal growth continue to resonate with audiences of all ages.

Critical Acclaim for Joan Allen

Joan Allen’s performance in “The Upside of Anger” received widespread critical acclaim. Her ability to portray complex emotions and create a compelling character was lauded by reviewers.

A Must-Watch Drama-Comedy

The Upside of Anger” is a must-watch drama-comedy that will leave you with a multitude of emotions. Its engaging story, powerful performances, and relatable themes make it a timeless classic in the world of cinema.


There you have it – 42 fascinating facts about the movie The Upside of Anger! This captivating drama-comedy has cemented its position as a beloved film, touching the hearts of audiences worldwide. From its talented cast to its thought-provoking themes, “The Upside of Anger” continues to captivate viewers even years after its initial release. If you haven’t watched it yet, be sure to add it to your movie watchlist. You won’t be disappointed!


In conclusion, The Upside of Anger is a captivating film that explores the complex emotions and relationships in a unique and thought-provoking way. With a stellar cast led by Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, the movie delves into themes of loss, anger, and forgiveness, keeping viewers engaged from start to finish. The engaging storyline, well-developed characters, and beautiful cinematography contribute to the overall success of the film. Whether you’re a fan of drama or simply enjoy a good character-driven story, The Upside of Anger is definitely worth a watch.


1. Who directed The Upside of Anger?

The Upside of Anger was directed by Mike Binder.

2. When was The Upside of Anger released?

The film was released in 2005.

3. What is the plot of The Upside of Anger?

The Upside of Anger revolves around a woman named Terry who becomes embittered and resentful after her husband mysteriously vanishes. She finds solace in her friendships with her daughters and a former baseball player named Denny.

4. Who plays the lead roles in The Upside of Anger?

Joan Allen plays the role of Terry Wolfmeyer, while Kevin Costner portrays Denny Davies.

5. Is The Upside of Anger a comedy or a drama?

The Upside of Anger is primarily a drama with comedic moments, as it explores deep emotions and complex relationships.

6. What are some other notable films directed by Mike Binder?

Mike Binder has directed films such as Reign Over Me, The Informant!, and Black and White.

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