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Anne Hathaway

My Favorite Superhero Movies

Christopher Reeve

If you’ve seen the eleventy-four hundred thousand trailers and advertisements out there, you know a new Superman movie is coming out this Friday, the 14th. I’m just excited as any fanboy out there, if not more.

I still have vivid memories of exiting a movie theater in 1978, after seeing Richard Donner’s Superman, and believing a man could fly, just as the tagline promised I would. I can’t describe that feeling, except to say it was like believing in magic. Not the sleight-of-hand kind—the kind you can’t explain but know exists.

I don’t know if Man of Steel will have that effect on me, but on the eve of its release, I’d like to share my list of favorite superhero movies ever, ones that made me think big things were possible for even the smallest and most awkward of us.

In no particular order, my top five are:

  1. Superman. In addition to the reasons above, Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane had great chemistry with Christopher Reeve’s Superman, and I still know all the words to their theme song, “Can You Read My Mind?” Don’t judge.
  2. Batman Returns. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman did it for me.
  3. Iron Man 3. More fun than the first two, and Pepper got strong.
  4. The Dark Knight Rises. I’m a Christian Bale fan, but the first two entries in Christopher Nolan’s reboot had Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal as female leads. Bale finally had not one but two formidable actresses—Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway—to play against in the third one.
  5. Spider-Man 2. This was fun for me all around, in every way.

Now someone just needs to make a good Wonder Woman movie so I can add it to my list.

Which ones are your favorites? Or are all superhero movies the same to you?

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Thoughts on the 85th Academy Awards & Fashion Commentary

MacFarlane. Kevin Winter/Getty

I went into this year’s ceremony more excited than usual because many of the categories were not predictable. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway were sure things, but there was possibility for surprises in the best actress, supporting actor, director, and screenplay categories. And the surprises did come to pass—who predicted Quentin Tarantino winning original screenplay for Django Unchained? Mark Boal had won the WGA award for Zero Dark Thirty.

Most pundits thought Steven Spielberg would take director since Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated, but Ang Lee won, though Life of Pi had claimed several Oscars by the time best director was declared so it wasn’t a huge shock. I started wondering if Naomi Watts could pull off an upset in the best actress category but Jennifer Lawrence prevailed and I was perfectly fine with that. I loved both performances; Watts’s work was just more harrowing.

Oh, did I mention a tie in the sound editing category? That’s only happened five times before in Oscar history! Both Zero Dark Thirty (Paul N.J. Ottosson) and Skyfall (Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers) won.

Unpredictability aside, this was one of the most awful ceremonies in recent memory. Seth MacFarlane made James Franco look like Bob Hope when it came to hosting. I was begging for him to cut short the interminable and painfully unfunny Star Trek opening bit with William Shatner. It had nothing to do with the nominated movies. If MacFarlane wanted to be ahead of the curve and tie in a number to Star Trek Into Darkness coming out this summer, at least have Chris Pine at the helm.

He went on to perform a musical number about seeing different actresses’ boobs in movies. Yes, really.

Tatum & Theron. Mark Davis/WireImage

When MacFarlane tried to class things up by bringing out Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum to dance along while MacFarlane sang “The Way You Look Tonight,” it still had nothing to do with this year’s movies. The classic tune from Swing Time won an Oscar for best song back in 1936, and MacFarlane could have included it later on in the show, but the opening should be about the current crop of movies.

Overall, MacFarlane just wasn’t funny. I think the only joke of his that made me laugh was the one in which he teased that the cast of Prometheus would appear to explain “what the hell was going on with that.” Daniel Day-Lewis was wittier when he said Meryl Streep was Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln, while the actor was supposed to portray Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

And what was that final number, an “ode to the losers,” that MacFarlane performed with Kristin Chenoweth, who deserved better? So embarrassing! Mr. PCN quipped, “The only things this number needs are Rob Lowe and Snow White.”

Let’s go over some of the winners in the major categories before I move on to the fashion.

ARGO producers: Grant Heslov, Affleck, George Clooney. Kevin Winter/Getty

Best Picture: Argo (announced by the biggest surprise presenter of the evening, Michelle Obama!)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Actress: Jennifer Lewis, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Song: Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Score: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

For a full list of winners, go here.

OK, let’s critique the fashion!

There were many nicely dressed stars, but nothing made me say Wow. Mr. PCN popped in and out as I watched the red carpet so I’ve included his comments here as well.

Jessica Chastain. Kevin Mazur/Wireimage

This is probably the best I’ve seen Chastain look—she glows. Her red carpet style has always been a bit off somehow. Here, she looks classy and polished, if a little safe.

Mr. PCN: I have a problem when people are the same color all over.

 

Jennifer Lawrence. Steve Granitz/WireImage

White is boring, and it’s too big at the bottom, but above the waist she looks gorgeous.

Mr. PCN: Looks like she’s wearing layers of fake snow you see in amusement parks.

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Wearing gold to the Oscars (and then posing in front of a poster of it) is trying too hard.

 

Naomi Watts. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Ooh, interesting neckline. Pewter or gunmetal is not my favorite color, but this dress is so sleek and just the right amount of sparkly.

Mr. PCN: It screams, “This is my favored breast.”

 

Charlize Theron. Steven Granitz/WireImage

There is nothing exciting about this—not the color, the style, nothing. It fits well, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

Mr. PCN: Um, everything about her works for me.

 

Jennifer Garner. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Jane Fonda. Kevin Mazuz/WireImage

Tie for best color: Jennifer Garner and Jane Fonda. These two stood out from all the white and black and pale-colored gowns.

 

Halle Berry. Steven Granitz/WireImage

She showed that she could cover up a little and still be sexy, in a strong instead of slutty way.

Mr. PCN: Looks like a girl in bondage, not a Bond girl. It also resembles the Chrysler building.

Stacy Keibler. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Another gunmetal gown I found striking. It looked liquid, as if it was slowly dripping off her.

Mr. PCN: This is what Halle Berry should’ve worn.

 

Anne Hathaway. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Wish it were a more vibrant pink. And, uh, what’s going on there in front?

Mr. PCN: Those darts are really perky.

 

Amy Adams. John Shearer/Invision/AP

This reminded me of Kyra Sedgwick’s 2006 Emmys dress, and therefore didn’t seem new or exciting.

Kyra Sedgwick. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Mr. PCN: The skirt [on Adams’s dress] looks like the goatskin pants that Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd wore in Dragnet.

 

Salma Hayek. Steven Granitz/WireImage

How is it possible for a dress to make Salma Hayek look not sexy?

Mr. PCN: She broke into a museum of old movie costumes and stole that dress.

 

Nicole Kidman. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Was Kidman trying to land a contract for a Vegas show?

 

Helen Hunt. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Most Green Award goes to Hunt, who wore an H&M dress she already owned. Yes, you read that right. She said she wanted to plug the brand because the it partners with Global Green. The gown needs some ironing but she looks pretty good. Kudos to her for not getting caught up in all the couture frenzy.

 

Kate Capshaw. Getty Images

Most badass heels: Kate Capshaw.

What did you think of the show and fashion? Sound off in the comments!

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SAG AWARDS 2013

I’m still in rehearsals six days a week for the new play, and doing various freelance gigs, so this won’t be a full write-up, just a few highlights in case you missed the show (apparently it didn’t air in some territories).

I tune in to the SAG Awards, which are less glamorous than the Oscars and not as freewheeling as the Golden Globes, because I get to vote for the winners here. There are 15 categories, and I voted for 7 of the winners, so I was happy about 50% of the results.

The one I was most excited about was Argo‘s win for best ensemble in a motion picture. It didn’t surprise me because I polled my actor friends and there’s a lot of love and respect for that movie. This bodes well for Argo winning best picture at the Oscars next month, which should make Oscar voters look shortsighted for ignoring Ben Affleck.

As I mentioned on Facebook, he is the only director of a best-picture nominee who also starred in it. I don’t see Spielberg directing himself as Lincoln or David O. Russell playing bipolar. What Affleck did has a high level of difficulty and he pulled it off with aplomb. The Producers Guild of America likes Argo, too, because it also won the top motion picture prize at that ceremony Saturday night.

Two of my favorite quotes came from acceptance speeches by Tina Fey, who won for best female actor in a comedy series (30 Rock), and Daniel Day-Lewis, best actor in a motion picture (Lincoln). Fey said to Amy Poehler: “I’ve known you since you were pregnant with Lena Dunham,” a continuation of the joke they started at the Globes when Dunham thanked them for getting her through middle school.

Day-Lewis, who got a standing ovation, said: “[I]t occurred to me that it was an actor that killed Abraham Lincoln, and therefore somehow it’s only fitting that every now and then, an actor tries to bring him back to life again.”

Go here for the full list of winners.

Let’s discuss some of the fashion. There were no real standouts for me. Most were ho-hum (too much black) or in the what-the-Freud? category.

Anne Hathaway usually has impeccable taste but I hate this look, which is reminiscent of Demi Moore’s bicycle-shorts-under-a-skirt fiasco from the Oscars in the ’80s (click here to see it—if you dare). This style just doesn’t make sense to me. If you want to wear a short dress, do it. Don’t throw some froufrou around your hips to cover up your legs but not really.

 

Oh, dear. It’s really unfortunate that Julianne Moore, whom I think is amazing, attended a SAG ceremony wearing this.

 

Claire Danes‘s dress is interesting but makes her look much older. Helen Mirren would rock this.

 

This probably would look like a cheesy prom dress on me and most people, but Marion Cotillard makes it impossibly chic.

 

Rose Byrne gets the award for Most Creative Use of Grandma’s Bathroom Wallpaper.

 

I wondered if Jaimie Alexander was wearing her dress backward. Or if she’s a fembot who managed to turn her head all the way around.

 

The dress isn’t anything special—she’s worn this style before—but Naomi Watts gets my vote for Most Consistent when it comes to hair and makeup. She looks flawless every time. And as much as I enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence‘s performance in Silver Linings Playbook, I’m kind of hoping for an upset by Naomi at the Oscars. Her work in The Impossible is brave, raw, and devastating.

 

Nina Dobrev wore my favorite gown of the night. The pink is striking without being girlish, and that slash of bare flesh under lace adds unexpected sexiness.

Did you watch? What are your thoughts? Am I the only female alive who doesn’t think Bradley Cooper is hot?

Photos: Hathaway, Moore, Danes/WireImage; Cotillard, Byrne, Alexander, Watts, Dobrev, Affleck and Argo cast/Getty Images

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Trailer: ONE DAY

Last summer, I reviewed David Nicholls’s book, One Day, which follows the relationship between friends Dexter and Emma by dropping in on them on the same date every year, from the time they meet on their college graduation day to twenty years later.

The trailer for the movie, starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway, was released this week. I think the lead actors are good choices for Dex and Em, and a movie can only be enhanced by having Patricia Clarkson in it.

One Day fans, what do you think? If you haven’t read the book, does this make you want to?

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Behind the Scenes at the Oscars 2011

I have a friend who went to the Oscars and as usual, she called me after the Governors Ball. She shared the following anecdotes, things you didn’t get to see on TV. She also took these pictures. (For my reaction to the show, click here.)

Didn’t I tell you the show would be horrible? [I said yes.] You were bored at home? I was there.

I loved the bit from the opening film montage where the hosts were in True Grit and I liked the auto-tune medley making fun of Twilight but that was it. I couldn’t deal with anything else. I will say I thought when Anne [Hathaway] came out at the beginning and said, “All of you are real!” that was a genuine moment. She’s been working her ass off, rehearsing last night until 11 p.m. with only cardboard placeholders in the audience. So I thought she was really excited to look out and see actual celebrities sitting there.

Mirren with husband Taylor Hackford

Russell Brand was addicted to bananas; he couldn’t stop eating them backstage. He must have eaten four. And Helen Mirren was eating one, too. Right before they went onstage to present the foreign film award, she handed her half-eaten banana to someone and said something like, “It would be funny if I went out there eating a banana, wouldn’t it?” I laughed so hard. She looked at me and said, “Right?”

And Brand was joking with some stagehands and pretended to make really weird demands like, “I need this restroom, some candles, a spoon”—and some other things I can’t remember— “and I need them NOW!” No cameras were on him but he was really funny. I thought, This is why he’s famous.

Governors Ball

I talked to Hailee Steinfeld and found out she’s a quarter Filipino. Who knew?

The Govenors Ball was fun. All-you-can-eat sushi! Jeff Bridges and Christopher Nolan stayed until the very end. Jake Gyllenhaal and Scarlett Johansson left almost right away.

Anne arrived very late, around 10:30. She looked really happy.

 

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Oscars 2011 Reaction: Nerdies for Best & Worst Moments

Watching the Oscars is akin to how people describe childbirth to me—it’s painful but after some time passes you forget about the pain and want to do it again. I don’t think I’ve really enjoyed an Academy Awards show since Billy Crystal hosted but every year I get excited about it. Tonight’s show, though, was one of the most awful in recent memory, something I wouldn’t have expected with James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts.

I like these two actors on film and both are multi-talented so I’m still scratching my head as to why the show was so dull. Hathaway makes me laugh when she hosts Saturday Night Live (have you seen her Katie Holmes impression?) and was winning when she dueted with Hugh Jackman in the musical number that opened the Oscars two years ago. And Franco—I find him funny even when he isn’t trying to be. But their opening dialogue tonight was devoid of laughs (you know the show’s in trouble when Franco’s grandma was funnier than the hosts with her line, “I just saw Marky Mark!”) and it was painful to watch Hathaway pushing through it while Franco looked like he couldn’t be bothered. I suspect he’s a collector of experiments, agreeing to do this so he could pull off stunts like tweeting live video of himself during the show from backstage and even as he went onstage (you can see him recording these clips on his phone in the photo above).

The actors’ inability to entertain was emphasized when Billy Crystal came out to do a short monologue about past Oscar hosts, seguing into clips of Bob Hope, the person who has hosted the most times (18). Both Crystal and Hope, in comedic bits from over 50 years ago, were funnier than Hathaway and Franco. (Heck, former host Hugh Jackman sitting in the audience was funnier.) I’m sure I wasn’t the only viewer hoping Crystal would take over for the rest of the ceremony. That would’ve been the biggest and most welcome surprise of the evening.

But enough about the hosts. Let’s move on to the show. You’ve probably heard the winners in the major categories were The King’s Speech for best picture, Colin Firth for actor, Natalie Portman for actress, Christian Bale for supporting actor, Melissa Leo for supporting actress, Tom Hooper for director, Aaron Sorkin for adapted screenplay, and David Seidler for original screenplay (for the full list of winners, click here). I will now award my own Nerdies for the highlights of the show.

Most princely speech: David Seidler. The man who wrote eloquent speeches for the cinematic King George VI in The King’s Speech gave a beautiful one himself, easily the best of the night. The 73-year-old Seidler started with “My father always said to me I’d be a late bloomer.” He noted that he’s the oldest winner in his category then said, “I hope that record will be broken quickly and often.” He concluded with “I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers of the world. We have a voice, we have been heard, thanks to you, the Academy.” Future winners should study his model: classy, witty and no wasted words.

Best mind-reader: Cate Blanchett. While watching the nominees for best makeup, I thought The Wolfman‘s clips looked particularly gross. When they ended, Blanchett said, “That’s gross.” She cannot be more awesome.

Most non-shocking “upset”: Tom Hooper’s. I was on Twitter when the director category was announced and a lot of folks seemed upset or shocked by his win. Why? First of all, Hooper won the DGA award, a pretty strong indicator he’d win the Oscar. Secondly, he made me care about a king who lived over 60 years ago in a foreign country while David Fincher couldn’t make me give a damn about people living today and events that are still unfolding (the Winklevoss twins are appealing their settlement). And I use Facebook!

Dance number I’d most like to have seen: Colin Firth’s. The year’s best actor said “I’m afraid I have to warn you that I’m experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves.” Warn us? How about make it a promise for next year’s show?

Romantic comedy I’d most like to see: one starring Firth and Sandra Bullock. While presenter Jeff Bridges’ scripted tributes to the five best actress nominees were cringe-inducing, Bullock managed to make her praise of the five best actor nominees funny and off the cuff. She was especially charming with Firth, making me think, “Why hasn’t anyone paired these two in a movie?”

Most mis-understood moment: Christian Bale regarding his wife’s name. While the Internet is speculating and chastising the actor for seemingly forgetting her name when he thanked her, I don’t think this is the case, based on the fact he never mentions her name or his daughter’s in public (though the media has identified his wife). If you scroll back through all the acceptance speeches and interviews he’s done this season, you’ll find this to be true. His sister, whom I used to know through work, told me he’s fiercely private when it comes to his family.

Best live-action Muppet: Luke Matheny. With his mop of hair and bouncy energy, the live-action-short winner was so infectious I was hoping he’d launch into a musical number with Kermit and friends.

Dish most people would probably want to eat: the Randy Newman chicken. Having been nominated 273 times (OK, it’s actually 20), the singer/songwriter, who won his second Oscar this year for best original song from Toy Story 3, joked there’s now a dish named after him at the annual nominees’ luncheon. Since he seems to get nominated every other year, we should all have what he’s having.

What did you think of the show and the hosts? Most/least favorite moments? Click here to read behind-the-scenes anecdotes from a friend of mine who attended the ceremony.

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2009 Oscars Fashion Round-Up

There were a lot of beautiful dresses tonight so it’s hard to pick a best. Even the “bad” ones weren’t horrible. But Nerdies need to be given out so here goes:

Best Dressed—Female: (Tie) Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei. I usually don’t like “no-color” dresses like beige or silver but these two dresses were magnificent.

Hathaway’s Armani Prive’ looked like a fluid, light-emitting column of tiny mirrors, making Hathaway the fairest of them all.

Actress Anne Hathaway arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards

I’d never seen such intricate pleating like on the skirt and train of Tomei’s Versace gown.

m-tomei

Best Color: Natalie Portman’s pink dress. The color was so soft yet striking in a theater full of neutral colors. Alicia Keys’ dress was of a similar color and style but I liked Portman’s just a little more because it had more interesting tucking and details in the bodice.

n-portman1

Best Dressed Male: Daniel Craig. He ain’t just Bond on screen. He looked lethal-weapon sharp on the red carpet, too.

Actor Daniel Craig (R) and Satsuki Mitchell arrives at the 81st

Most Improved from Previous Award Shows This Year: Robert Downey Jr. He looked like a bum at the SAG Awards, chewing gum, sporting sneakers and dirty hair. Look at him here. Damn! Somebody got a facial and full makeover.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. and guest arrive at the 81st Annual Acad

Oldest Gown: Penelope Cruz. Her 60-year-old vintage Balmain was older than most people there. It’s held up remarkably well, though, and makes Cruz look like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

Actress Penelope Cruz arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Best Jewelry: Angelina Jolie. I couldn’t take my eyes off her green dangling earrings and ginormous cocktail ring. I don’t know why she looks so pissed here, though.

an-brad

Most Resembling a Bridesmaid Dress: Amanda Seyfried. C’mon, doesn’t this look like it escaped from 27 Dresses?

Actress Amanda Seyfried arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Award

Most Unfortunate Bow Placement: Tilda Swinton. The top half’s draping is pretty, but look where the giant ruffle is on her skirt. Unless you’re Cher circa 1987, you should never wear a gown that calls attention to your crotch to the Oscars.

Actress Tilda Swinton arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Most Age-Inappropriate Dress: Sophia Loren. She’s still hot but what’s with all the ruffles? Twenty-four-year-old Freida Pinto may have been able to pull it off but it’s all wrong for Ms. Loren. She should take style lessons from Helen Mirren on how to look sophisticated and hot.

Actress Sophia Loren arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards h

Baggiest Mess: Jessica Biel. She looks like someone draped a towel down the front of her dress. She could hide a couple of the Slumdog kids under there.Actress Jessica Biel arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards h

Who were your favorites? Who looked like they made their own clothes? Discuss!

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My Oscar Predictions!

jackman_tuxThe Oscars are finally here! I’m looking forward to seeing Hugh Jackman in a tux and hopefully shaking his money maker a little. There’s a rumor that Anne Hathaway will be doing the opening musical number with him (click here to see him rehearsing, sans Anne). Hathaway can definitely sing (have you seen Ella Enchanted or her hosting stint on SNL?) and we have plenty evidence of Jackman’s musical prowess so it should be entertaining if it does happen.

Now, I know everyone and his best friend’s second cousin’s lip waxer have already done predictions so I wasn’t gonna do any more than the ones I already made back in December and January. But then I thought, Why not? Maybe I can help someone win fifty bucks in an Oscar pool to put towards next week’s groceries. I’ve seen all the nominated movies, except for the shorts and foreign films (you’re on your own there!) so I’m not making wild guesses based on hype. These are my (hopefully) informed opinions based on the actual quality of the films. I know—the Oscars are sometimes more about PR but I can hope, right?

Here goes:

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor: Sean Penn — Milk

Best Actor: Kate Winslet — The Reader

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger — The Dark Knight

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz — Vicky Christina Barcelona

Best Director: Danny Boyle — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Animated Feature: WALL*E

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black — Milk

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt (Art Direction); Victor J. Zolfo (Set Decoration) — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle — Slumdog Millionaire 

Best Costume Design: Michael O’ Connor — The Duchess (no contest—Keira’s dresses were eye-popping)

Best Editing: Chris Dickens — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Makeup: Greg Cannom — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Score: A.R. Rahman — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Song: “Jai Ho” — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Mixing: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty — Slumdog Millionaire

Best Visual Effects: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Foreign Film: Waltz with Bashir 

Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire

Do you agree with my choices? Who are you rooting for? Post a comment then check back Monday for scoopy stuff from inside the Oscars from my sources who will be there!

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Rachel Getting Married–impressive acting, uncomfortable movie

Anne Hathaway is immensely watchable. Her enormous brown cows make her seem vulnerable and accessible and there’s always intelligence in her performances. All of that applies in Rachel. She plays Kym, a recovering drug addict who’s just been released from rehab to attend her sister Rachel’s wedding. At times, Hathaway is brave enough to allow the audience to dislike Kym and her self-centered destructiveness. Her shedding of the “cute” persona she attained from the Princess Diaries movies doesn’t come across as trying too hard, unlike, say, Meg Ryan playing an alky in When a Man Loves a Woman. That’s because she doesn’t play it hard-core (despite the chopped hair and black eyeliner); she’s just an uncomfortable character who spreads the discomfort to everyone around her.

The acting is very strong all the way around–Rosemarie DeWitt as the long-suffering sister who’s finally making her feelings known, Bill Irwin especially as the father desperately trying to keep his family from falling apart by compulsively making sandwiches, and Debra Winger as the repressed matriarch whose lid is on so tight she could blow at any minute.

This movie was directed by Jonathan Demme, he of The Silence of the Lambs and Something Wild. So why didn’t I love it? Perhaps because the subject matter is so heavy and not all things are resolved at the end. Everyone is left with a sad veil over them. I don’t need things neatly tied up; I just want a sense of hope and I’m not sure this movie made me feel that. Things more or less go back to the way they were before the events in the film unfolded so I’m not sure what the characters accomplished and why we have to witness it all.

Or maybe I didn’t love it because the film was entirely shot by hand-held camera with a kind of grainy, documentary look. The experience was like watching someone’s uncomfortable, unedited (there were long shots where not much happened) home video which made me seasick with all the movement. I attended a screening where Ms. Hathaway and the writer, Jenny Lumet, said that style was intentional because Demme wanted that cinema verite effect. He succeeded; I just need to find the nearest bathroom.

Rating: Okay

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