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Fierce People
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Fierce People (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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Fierce People -- Kristen Stewart costars with Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland in this spellbinding movie about a mother and son plunged into a seductive world of the privileged class. Liz Earl, a sometimes masseuse and full-time substance abuser, gets a new lease on life when a billionaire client invites her and her son to live on his estate. But Liz soon discovers that this high society hides dark secrets.
Fierce People -- A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Dirk Wittenborn (book)
Dirk Wittenborn (screenplay)
View company contact information for Fierce People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 November 2007 (USA) See more »
Every family tree has its nuts. See more »
A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A coming-of-age tale that's a complex, quirky treasure See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Diane Lane ... Liz Earl

Anton Yelchin ... Finn Earl

Donald Sutherland ... Ogden C. Osborne

Chris Evans ... Bryce

Kristen Stewart ... Maya

Paz de la Huerta ... Jilly

Blu Mankuma ... Gates

Elizabeth Perkins ... Mrs. Langley

Christopher Shyer ... Dr. Leffler

Garry Chalk ... McCallum

Ryan McDonald ... Ian

Dexter Bell ... Marcus Gates

Kaleigh Dey ... Paige

Aaron Brooks ... Giacomo
Jeff Westmoreland ... Whitney

Teach Grant ... Dwayne

Chris Shields ... Cop

Dirk Wittenborn ... Fox Blanchard
Alan Giles ... Dignified Old Man
Sibel Thrasher ... Creamsicle
Robert Clarke ... Herbert the Butler
Eddie Rosales ... Iskanani Shaman

Will Lyman ... Documentary Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Denis Corbett ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Ben Cotton ... Boyfriend (uncredited)

Rekha Sharma ... Social Worker (uncredited)

Kimani Ray Smith ... Hair Net Man (uncredited)

Mike Vardy ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Ross Viner ... Valet (uncredited)

Stephanie Marie Watkins ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Griffin Dunne 
Writing credits
Dirk Wittenborn (book)

Dirk Wittenborn (screenplay)

Produced by
Keith Addis .... executive producer
Griffin Dunne .... producer
Ogden Gavanski .... executive producer
Nick Wechsler .... producer
Dirk Wittenborn .... executive producer
Michael Paseornek .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Paul Bakija 
Nick Laird-Clowes 
Cinematography by
William Rexer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Allyson C. Johnson 
Casting by
Susan Taylor Brouse  (as Susan Brouse)
Lynne Carrow 
Sig De Miguel 
Amanda Mackey Johnson 
Cathy Sandrich  (as Cathy Sandrich Gelfond)
Wendy Weidman 
Production Design by
Mark Ricker 
Set Decoration by
Dominique Fauquet-Lemaitre 
Costume Design by
Monique Prudhomme 
Makeup Department
Donna Bis .... assistant hair stylist (as Donna Biss)
Beth Boxall .... co-key makeup artist
Susan Boyd .... assistant hair stylist
Jayne Dancose .... key makeup artist
Leah Ehman .... first assistant makeup artist
Leslie Graham .... assistant makeup artist (as Leslie J. Graham)
Linda Kathleen James .... assistant hair stylist
Sherry Linder-Gygli .... key hair stylist (as Sherry Gygli)
Julie McHaffie .... assistant hair stylist
Sandy Monesmith .... hair stylist
M. Brando Pero .... assistant hair stylist
Jennifer Powell-Folk .... assistant makeup artist (as Jennifer Powell)
Tana Lynn Moldovanos .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Padi Mills .... production manager
Carl Pedregal .... post-production supervisor
Philip Stilman .... post-production supervisor
Erica Kay .... production supervisor: New York (uncredited)
Rosemary Lara .... production manager: Lions Gate Films (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Bunting .... third assistant director
David Heimbecker .... third assistant director: Victoria (as Dave Heimbecker)
Julie Hemmerling .... third assistant director
Craig Matheson .... first assistant director
Darius Matheson .... second assistant director
Quincy Wheeler-Hendren .... third assistant director
Art Department
Jack Ahnert .... painter
Don Anderson .... assistant property master
John Bayntun .... on-set dresser
Madonna Blunt .... lead hand
Raul Casillas .... lead set dresser
Linda Chiz .... painter
Anthony Chruszcz .... set dresser
Kevin Clark .... greensman
Jean-Paul Costaz .... paint coordinator
Graham Coutts .... property master
Edward Daniels .... greensman
Andrew Emde .... art department coordinator
Ivan Fish .... lead scenic carpenter
Glenn Foerster .... greensman
Milan Gelon .... lead hand (as Milan B. Gelon)
Frank Hanuska .... carpenter
William Heslup .... production designer: Canada (as Willie Heslup)
Scott Holburn .... set dresser
Brian Holden .... carpenter
Sheri Hunter-Locke .... assistant set decorator (as Sheri Hunter)
G. Andrew Hussey .... set dresser
Gail Irvine .... props buyer
Della Mae Johnston .... buyer: Victoria
Janis Lee .... painter
Randy Lohin .... painter
John Lund .... storyboard artist
Andrei Mahankov .... assistant set dresser
David Manske .... on-set dresser
Mike Marsten .... set dresser (as Mike Marston)
Shawn McArthur .... greensman
Shannon McFarlane .... set dresser
Derick McLeod .... construction coordinator
Lisa Mitchell .... buyer
Kyle Moore .... greens lead
Kyle Moore .... greensman
Bryan Pederson .... foreman
Marlow Pederson .... scenic carpenter
Cricket Price .... assistant art director
Chris Rae .... carpenter
Richard Schultz .... assistant greensman (as Rick Schultz)
Andy Thornton .... lead carpenter
Ron Vreekem .... painter (as Ron Vreeken)
Michael Watson .... painter
Nancy Anna Brown .... set designer (uncredited)
Terry Gonsalves .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Coll Anderson .... sound designer
Brian Bowles .... dialogue editor
Roberto Cappannelli .... sound re-recording mixer
Ryan Collison .... foley recordist
Alan Freedman .... adr mixer: Los Angeles
Brian Gallagher .... adr recordist: New York
Dave Griffiths .... boom operator
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer: New York
Mike Patrick .... sound re-recordist
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Jan Petrov .... adr recordist
Patrick Ramsay .... sound mixer
Adam Sharpe .... adr mixer: Vancouver
Naan Spiess .... cableperson
Reilly Steele .... sound re-recording mixer
Marilyn Teorey .... foley editor
David Wahnon .... associate supervising sound editor
Doug Winningham .... sound effects editor
Special Effects by
Gord David .... special effects first assistant
Bill Mills .... special effects coordinator
Bob Price .... special effects first assistant
Edward M. Sweet .... special effects second assistant (as Ted 'The Don' Sweet)
Ian Korver .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Scott Brewster .... visual effects media coordinator
J. John Corbett .... digital artist: Big Film Design
Anand Duncan .... animator (as Anand Nunnally)
David Friend .... animator
Harold Moss .... designer and animator: FlickerLab
Jim Rider .... digital artist: Big Film Design
Amit Sethi .... digital artist: Big Film Design
Azin Shamma .... compositor (as Azin Shanma)
Zartosht Soltani .... lead designer
Larissa Starikova .... compositor
Tammy Walters .... visual effects executive producer
Franklin S. Zitter .... visual effects associate producer (as Franklin Zitter)
Brian Scott Benson .... digital effects artist (uncredited)
Ed Anders .... stunts
Scott J. Ateah .... stunt coordinator (as Scott Ateah)
Richard Brooks .... stunts
Mike Crestejo .... stunts
Ryan Ennis .... stunt coordinator
Brad Kelly .... stunts
Don Lew .... stunts
Steven McMichael .... stunts
Darryl Scheelar .... stunts (as Daryl Scheelar)
Kimani Ray Smith .... stunts
Ann Villeseche .... stunts
Paul Wu .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Akester .... still photographer
Sandes Ashe .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Marco Ciccone .... camera operator: "b" camera
David Crone .... camera operator: "a" camera
David Crone .... steadicam operator
Rob Crone .... camera trainee (as Robert Crone)
Cliff Gladden .... grip
H. Christopher Hunter .... dolly grip: "a" camera (as Christopher Hunter)
Stephen J. McKnight .... second assistant camera: "a" camera (as Stephan McKnight)
Saubrie Mohamed .... best boy electric
Jeff O'Brien .... rigging electrician
Kevin O'Leary .... generator operator
Brian Pearson .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jean-Francois Raymond .... lamp operator (as Jean-Francois 'JF' Raymond)
Jayson Rupert .... on-set best boy grip (as Jayson P. Rupert)
Thom Ryan .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Leon Serginson .... lead man setup grip
Bryce Shaw .... dolly grip: "b" camera
James Smith .... best boy grip
Jeremy Spofford .... camera trainee
Owen Taylor .... gaffer (as Owen K. Taylor)
Bill Tennant .... on-set best boy electric
Anthony M. Thorpe .... grip
Daniel Volonino .... second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Daniel 'DVNY' Volonino)
John Westerlaken .... key grip
David Norris .... camera operator: aerial unit (uncredited)
Ed 'Animal' Schulz .... grip (uncredited)
Max Torroba .... playback operator (uncredited)
Animation Department
David Michael Friend .... animator
Casting Department
Samantha Finkler .... casting associate
Debbie Forbes .... casting assistant
Sandra-Ken Freeman .... extras casting
Larkin MacKenzie-Ast .... casting assistant
Bonita Deneen .... casting assistant (uncredited)
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Heather Reidenbach .... background casting associate: New York (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Christine Coutts .... assistant costume designer
Roberta Doylend .... costumer (as Roberta Duylend)
Lise Hache .... assistant costume designer (as Lise Hachi)
Jane Henry .... costumer
Steve Holloway .... costume set supervisor
Lorna Kring .... truck costumer (as Lorna M. Kring)
Lou Rawlins .... costumer
Charis Tillson .... seamstress/cutter
Editorial Department
Bill Baldwin .... digital intermediate producer (as Billy Baldwin)
John Crowley .... digital intermediate colorist
Donna Donato .... assistant editor
Peter Heady .... digital intermediate iq editor
Bret Hilarie .... digital intermediate engineer
Jeff Huston .... digital intermediate scanner and recorder
Brian Patchett .... digital intermediate iq assistant
Matthew Reedy .... digital intermediate producer
Matthew Schneider .... digital intermediate engineer
David A. Smith .... assistant editor (as David Smith)
Corey Stewart .... digital intermediate engineer
Stan Sztaba .... negative cutter
Franklin Vargas .... digital intermediate colorist assistant (as Frankie Vargas)
Colin Jenken .... video playback editor (uncredited)
Mike Trinker .... digital intermediate editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Nancy Allen .... music editor
Ben Coleman .... musician: electric violin
Ilan Eshkeri .... music producer
David Gilmour .... musician: turkish chip pan
Joel C. High .... music supervisor
Nick Laird-Clowes .... music producer
Tracy McKnight .... music supervisor
Stephen McLaughlin .... music producer (as Steve Mclaughlin)
Evelyn Paglinawan .... music business affairs
Andrew Raiher .... musician: bass
Rebecca Rienks .... music coordinator
Tiffany Ryan .... music coordinator
Natasha Duprey .... music coordinator (uncredited)
Stephen McLaughlin .... music mixer (uncredited)
Stephen McLaughlin .... music recordist (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jeff Budnick .... picture car coordinator
Brad Buskey .... driver
Stephen Carr .... personal driver
Barry Chapman .... driver
Kemy Loree Derlago .... driver
Ed Dykstra .... driver (as Atle Dykstra)
Sam Ellsworth .... mechanic
William E. Fox .... driver
Mark Gould .... transportation coordinator
Gordon Heibein .... driver
Jack Kraehling .... driver
Greg Lansink .... transportation co-captain
Roger A. Mara .... driver
Neil Massey .... driver
Rod May .... transportation captain
Dave McDonald .... driver
Phil Parker .... driver
Robert A. Smith .... driver
Glenn Steer .... driver
Terry Storey .... driver
Ian 'Moss' Urquhart .... driver
Other crew
Anton Babiy .... stand-in
Bree Bailey .... assistant: Mr. Paseornek
Russ Barber .... balloon pilot
Cassandra Barbour .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances
Bill Barclay .... assistant: Mr. Wechsler
Violet Barisoff .... assistant craft service
Barbara Barnes .... travel coordinator: Victoria
Louise D. Bourassa .... location production assistant (as Louise Bourassa)
Cameron Boutin .... location production assistant
Cedric Breuel .... second wrangler
Dale Cornick .... assistant accountant (as Dale R. Cornick)
Jason Crosby .... marine coordinator
Scott Dallamore .... security captain (as Scott Dallamore)
Jitka Dermiskova .... location production assistant
Mark Dumas .... animal wrangler: Creative Animal Talent
Doreen Ferreira .... associate wrangler
Barb Foster .... chef: Simply Divine Catering (as Barbara Foster)
Michael Grigsby .... production accountant
T.J. Gunderson .... craft service
T.J. Gunderson .... first aid
David K. Henry .... production financing: U.S. Bank National Association (as David Henry)
David K. Henry .... production financing: U<gt>S<gt> Bank National Association (as David Henry)
Dana Herriott .... location scout
Erik Hodge .... assistant: Mr. Dunne
Ron Holmes .... stand-in
Colin House .... production assistant: Victoria
Ali Jazayeri .... vice president finance
Nigel Johnson .... stand-in
David Kinsella .... hot air balloon coordinator
Dale Kipling .... horse wrangler
Marian Koprada .... key location production assistant
Dan Kuzmenko .... assistant location manager
Tracy MacLeod .... assistant chef: Simply Divine Catering (as Tracey MacLeod)
Erica Maletz .... production coordinator
Rod May .... horse wrangler
Hugh McClelland .... stock footage coordinator
Lee McNish .... assistant chef: Tivoli Catering (as Lee K. McNish)
Andrea Miller .... stand-in
Hamish Miller .... assistant chef: Tivoli Catering
Darlene Milley .... insurance services: AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services (as Darlene A. Milley)
Don Munro .... on-set tutor
Zoë Nash .... production assistant
Tim Palen .... EVP of Theatrical Marketing: Lionsgate
Ashley Pearson .... stand-in (as Ash Pearson)
Dana Phillips .... assistant chef: Tivoli Catering
Gabriella Pirocchi .... assistant chef: Simply Divine Catering
Dick Powell .... balloon pilot
Karen Powell .... clearances
Jody Reavley .... first assistant production coordinator (as Jodi Reavley)
Gil Restiaux .... balloon pilot
Emily Rice .... post-production accountant
Stefani Rockwell .... payroll accountant
Tania Rosa .... accounting clerk
S. Steven Sach .... location manager
Kevin Schartner .... horse wrangler
Laura Sevier .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances
Julie Slater .... assistant location trainee (as Julie Anne Slater)
S. Corissa Stuckey .... insurance agent: AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services
Matt Towstyka .... chef: Tivoli Catering
Helga Ungurait .... script supervisor
Nina Van Den Boogaard .... stand-in (as Nina Van Den Boogard)
Bill Vigars .... unit publicist
Kathleen Whipp .... mental health professional
Darcy Woodley .... head trainer
Steve Woodley .... head trainer
Izabella Zubek .... location scout
Shelley Marie Brown .... promotions (uncredited)
George Bunce .... 2K conform (uncredited)
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Elizabeth Dixon .... business affairs coordinator (uncredited)
Byron Drinkle .... playback coordinator (uncredited)
Amanda Shamis Flannery .... business affairs coordinator (uncredited)
Michael J. Harker .... completion bond company representative (uncredited)
Kent R. Karemaker .... stand-in (uncredited)
Daniel MacArthur .... production coordinator: Lions Gate Films (uncredited)
Dan McPeake .... stand-in (uncredited)
Robert M. Melnik .... executive vice president of business affairs (uncredited)
Curtis A. Miller .... director of production: Lions Gate Films (uncredited)
Peter Munro .... location scout (uncredited)
Sean Oliver .... adr loop group (uncredited)
Donna Sloan .... senior vice president of production: Lions Gate Films (uncredited)
Fisher Stevens .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language, drug use, sexuality/nudity and some violence
USA:107 min | Argentina:135 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Donald Sutherland who plays President Snow In The Hunger Games Trilogy has a line in the movie that says "If the odds are in their favor" similar to "may be the odds be in their favor" from his Hunger Games role.See more »
Continuity: When the police car takes them away from their apartment it has a stop light out, but when it is arriving at the country house the light is fixed.See more »
[first lines]
Finn Earl:[narrating] There's this tribe in South America called the Ishcanani. That means fierce people.
Finn Earl:They're. They're like the meanest people in the world. They'll cut off your thumbs, and they'll shit in your hammock just like we say hello.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Blew BossaSee more »


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66 out of 80 people found the following review useful.
A coming-of-age tale that's a complex, quirky treasure, 16 October 2006
Author: larry-411 from United States

I attended a screening of "Fierce People" at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival. I hesitate to label it a "premiere" of any sort, since it was shot in the spring of 2004 and had its world premiere at Tribeca in 2005. It played several festivals that year. Release seemed imminent, then it disappeared. Poof. Vanished. Or so it appeared to the film-going public. Rumors of a theatrical or DVD release have popped up now and then, but all proved unfounded. Then this screening was announced. Perhaps one can call it a "re-premiere?" It certainly felt as if I was witness to a buried treasure. And what a treasure it was.

I suppose one could characterize "Fierce People" as a coming-of-age drama. But it also has elements of comedy and tragedy, as well as mystery. And a bit of farce thrown in. In short, real life. That makes it hard to pigeonhole, which puts it more into the category of an indie as opposed to a Hollywood movie. But its high production values, big budget feel, and star caliber cast seem at odds with the indie label. So let's call it a hybrid. And, perhaps, that's why it's been "lost." It defies categorization.

Meet Finn Earl (Anton Yelchin), 15, whose father is absent. In fact, Finn has never known him. But he sees him and hears him via the collection of home movies sent from South America. Dad is a renowned anthropologist, and has made a name for himself by setting up shop with the Yanomani, the tribe of "Fierce People" who live to kill and, well, procreate. All their activities are built around those two "tasks," and Finn is captivated by it. Mom Liz (Diane Lane) is also somewhat absent. Although present physically, she is lost in a world of cocaine and alcohol. So Finn becomes an adult in his little solitary world with his reels of film.

One summer, Mom decides to drag Finn along with her into the wilds of New Jersey. A massage therapist, Mom has catered to a wealthy client, Ogden C. Osborne (Donald Sutherland, in a tour de force performance) and he has invited her for an extended house call at his palatial estate. Osborne's "tribe" includes an assortment of eccentric rich kids, servants, and village idiots among whom Finn will find himself part of his own anthropological study. Will his experience with Dad's films help him survive life as a visitor to this tribe? Will he be accepted? Or will he be seen as an outsider, concurrently struggling with his own identity as an adolescent? Such is the stuff of fairy tales, and I suppose this would be if not for the dark underbelly which director Griffin Dunne and writer Dirk Wittenborn have infused into this magnificent story.

With Anton Yelchin's voice-over, intercutting pieces of Dad's home movies, Finn must learn to go back to being the teenager he never really had a chance to be, stop being the parent to his Mom, allow newly-sober Mom to be parent to him, and learn responsibility on the way to adulthood the way it should have taken place all along. Yet he needs to make this transformation in a dangerous, dark world where playing with fire is folly to this fractured family.

This is, first and foremost, a story-driven film and Griffin Dunne emphasized as much in the intro to the film. He bought the rights to Wittenborn's novel even as it was being written, and Wittenborn's own screenplay comes to life in the hands of the masterful Dunne in a way that's a work of wonder.

This is also largely a character-driven film, and Sutherland has never been better. His star turn as Osborne stunned those around me and will likely leave you amazed as well. Diane Lane's character ultimately exhibits so many personalities that it's hard to imagine another actor pulling it off so well. She is breathtaking. But more than anything, "Fierce People" is Anton Yelchin's film. He has a long resume as a child actor but preciously little as a teen. Other than the little-known "House of D" (also a gem), he is best known as Byrd on TV's "Huff." In January, he will be seen in "Alpha Dog" (also sitting on the shelf since 2004, a film I saw at Sundance this year and in which he is the "heart and soul"). His performance here goes far beyond what one would expect from someone so young, and is nothing short of spectacular.

This complex, quirky film has remained out of sight long enough. "Fierce People" is a treasure filled with light and shadow, comedy and tragedy, joy and pathos, but mostly wonder.

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