Strait-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.
Two sisters, plus a dead mother, a remarried father, and a hostile step-mother. The sisters, each in her way, have perfected the art of losing. The elder, Rose, is an attorney, responsible, lonely, with a closet full of shoes. The younger is Maggie, beautiful, selfish, and irresponsible. Her drunken behavior gets her tossed by her step-mother from her dad's house; worse behavior gets her tossed from Rose's apartment. Then, while searching in her father's desk for money to filch, Maggie finds an address; the past and the future open up to her and, with any luck, may open to her sister as well. Written by
The Fall season is when the intelligent, adult films are supposed to come out, and "In Her Shoes" is the first one this year.
A story about sibling rivalry and bonding did not initially have much interest for me, but this is a good example of how a well made film can transcend it's subject matter.
This is one of the best acted films of the year. Toni Collette bears the brunt of having to carry the film because her character is central to the story, and she does a great job. She is convincing as the frumpy older sister of Cameron Diaz, who always gets the guys but who is illiterate and an alcoholic. Shirley MacLaine is the feisty, estranged grandmother. The film starts kind of slow, but gets much better when MacLaine shows up.
This film has a lot in common with a film that came out last month called "Proof." That film had a good story but had poor photography and directing. "In Her Shoes" looks like every frame was done with meticulous detail. The directing is done with confidence and the film does not suffer from the rapid cut camera angles that so many films suffer from these days.
It's no secret that this year's box office has suffered due to the poor quality of the films. The success of "In Her Shoes" will be a good yardstick to tell if people will go to the theater for a quality film.
If you've been waiting for an intelligent, moving film without the gun shots and helicopter chases, "In Her Shoes" is a film you should see.
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