A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Marks family is a tightly-knit quartet of women. Jane is the affluent matriarch whose 3 daughters seem to have nothing in common except for a peculiar sort of idealism. Setting the tone of vanity and insecurity, Jane is undergoing cosmetic surgery to alter her figure, but serious complications put her health in real danger. Former homecoming queen Michelle, the eldest daughter, has one daughter of her own and an alienated, unsupportive husband. Elizabeth, the middle sister, has an acting career that is beginning to take off, but is timid and insecure, and habitually relieves her trepidation by taking in stray dogs. Only the youngest sister, Annie, an adopted African American 8-year-old, stands a chance of avoiding the family legacy of anxious self-absorption. If only her intelligence and curiosity will see her through what promises to be a confusing adolescence. Each of the women seeks redemption in her own haphazard way. Written by
When I first saw Walking and Talking, Nicole Holofcener's previous film, I didn't realize at first what a brilliant piece of work it was. My experience with Lovely and Amazing was exactly the same. It is only later that it becomes clear how expertly the relationships between the characters are illuminated and with what originality she has constructed a story. Lovely and Amazing is an examination of a family of women and their complex relationships with themselves and the men in their lives. The women in Lovely and Amazing are real people. They are frequently horrible to each other and sabotage themselves just like real women. They are also capable, like real women, of moments of intimacy and insight with each other.
I believe Nicole Holofcener is the most talented indie filmmaker out there at the moment. Walking and Talking is one of my all time favorite films, and Lovely and Amazing just confirmed her status in my eyes as an insightful storyteller. Audiences deserve more films that achieve this level of excellence, and I hope Nicole Holofcener has the chance to deliver them.
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