Straight-laced Rose breaks off relations with her party girl sister, Maggie, over an indiscretion involving Rose's boyfriend. The chilly atmosphere is broken with the arrival of Ella, the grandmother neither sister knew existed.
An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.
A sharp-witted suburban wife, Terry Wolfmeyer, is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when she falls for her neighbor Denny, a once-great baseball star turned radio d.j. This leaves her daughters out on a limb. They are forced to juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas as well as their own. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Among the many pleasures that "The Upside of Anger" offers, Joan Allen and Kevin Costner's performances are very much at the center of it. We are used by now at Joan Allen's marvelous gallery of characters. Here, she reaches very high, creating a character that moves through highs and lows with overwhelming power. It is a performance so entertaining, apart from everything else, that you are really compelled to go wherever she wants to take you. Kevin Costner, however, is the biggest surprise. I'm even tempted to call it a revelation. He carries the soul of the character in his sleeve with disarming charm and humanity, not a single false note. I believed him, I loved him, I want to see him again. Mike Binder, the gifted writer director of this film, unfortunately, outstretches himself a little bit. He gives too much room to his character and instead of allowing it to grow with the famous less is more formula, he concedes himself a couple of extra long and repetitive scenes that slow down the proceedings in a rather dangerous way. If I had been the producer I would have fought like crazy to eliminate the supermarket scene. But I'm not going to dwell on it. The film is a triumph for the two leads. Thank you Joan Allen and well done Kevin Costner. I'll see you again at Oscar time.
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