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'Heights' follows five characters over 24 hours on a fall day in New York City. Isabel, a photographer, is having second thoughts about her upcoming marriage to Jonathan, a lawyer. On the same day, Isabel's mother Diana learns that her husband has a new lover and begins to re-think her life choices and her open marriage. Diana and Isabel's paths cross with Alec, a young actor, and with Peter, a journalist. As the interrelated stories proceed, the connections between the lives of the five characters begin to reveal themselves and their stories unravel. Isabel, Jonathan, Diana, Alec, and Peter must choose what kind of lives they will lead before the sun comes up on the next day. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Decepcion and secrecy seems to be the root of the burden Jonathan is carrying in his troubled soul. During the course of a few hours he will have to face the truth about himself as his past comes back to haunt him in ways he didn't realize it would affect him.
Amy Fox has opened up her play by writing a wonderful screen treatment that Chris Terrio, the young and multi talented director presents for us with great panache. Ms. Fox created strong characters that come alive in the film. We are taken to some of Manhattan's rooftops and terraces to get a first rate account of people trying to deal with real problems. A point the film is trying to make is about how well do we know people close to us, even those we think we are in love with.
At the center of the movie is Elizabeth, who is living with Jonathan. They are planning to get married. Elizabeth is a talented photographer who is a free lancer. Jonathan is Jewish, but she is not; he wants her to go to see the Rabbi who is going to marry them. It's clear they are not at the same wave length, and not because they come from different religious backgrounds.
Diane, Elizabeth's mother, is a much admired actress in the New York stage. She has an eye for spotting handsome young men, as it's the case when she auditions Alec, a young actor that wants to be in a play she is going to direct. It's clear she likes him for other non acting role as well. Diane and her present husband are married for appearances sake, as we get to see him in action with another woman.
"Heights" makes an interesting point in showing how inter connected all these characters are and how a small, innocent incident, will unravel things as Elizabeth gets to see first hand how wrong she has been about the man she is going to marry.
Glenn Close, as Diana, makes an amazing appearance in the film. She is such an elegant performer that knows well what makes Diana act the way she does. She is not a diva, on the contrary, she seems to be a grounded woman whose love for her daughter is clear. Elizabeth Banks is wonderful as Diana's daughter, Isabel.
The surprise of the film came via George Segal, who as Rabbi Mendel, clearly sees what's troubling Jonathan. Mr. Segal is a welcome sight in the film after being absent so long. James Marsden, Jesse Bradford, Rufus Wainwright, Eric Bogosian, Michael Murphy and a lot of New York based stage actors are seen in minor, but effective roles.
This film clearly demonstrates the talent of Chris Terrio bringing all these actors together to do ensemble work. Mr. Terrio is lucky to be working with Jim Denault who has photographed the film with such an elegant style. Also the music by Ben Butler and Martin Erskine enhances the film.
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