Lawrence, an aging, lonely civil servant falls for Gina, an enigmatic young woman. When he takes her to the G8 Summit in Reykjavik, however, their bond is tested by Lawrence's professional obligations.
A drama that swoops in on Empire Falls, an economically depressed mill town in Maine, and lifetime resident Miles Roby, who's run the town's top restaurant for some twenty years. Miles is surrounded by his newly thin wife, meddling father, and hostile boss. Written by
Empire Falls is a tale of small town people, struggling to find themselves and their sense of dignity.
Empire Falls is a remarkably intelligent piece of work, so very different from most mindless Hollywood films today. The smooth blend of comic and tragic with satiric overtones was brilliant. The easy transition from past to present reminds us all of the interdependence of child and parent, and the poignancy of different types of love. It reminded me of what films used to be capable of portraying in an era before mindless special effects took the place of human drama. The cast and crew should be commended for their artistic integrity in not succumbing to the current trend in the entertainment industry to cater to the lowest common denominator. I hope some Hollywood producers think about the fact that film can be thought-provoking, and not just a series of electronic jolts.
Empire Falls was a clear indication that there are still actors and actresses out there, and there are stories to be told without resorting to egregious remakes of old television series. If film is to be a viable part of culture, it needs to stimulate the mind of the viewer, and this film does that by creating complex characters who come to life on the screen. The issues of ambition and failure and love and hate pertain to us all, and the range of ages of the characters allowed for a wide identification. Empire Falls is a shining example of what the entertainment industry is capable of producing when it sets its mind on portraying the reality of the human condition with all of its weaknesses and strengths.
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