A man is suddenly drawn kicking and screaming into caring for his dying mother, and amidst the sudden crush of responsibility he tries to gauge the measure and worth of a man and a life.

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Cast

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Benji
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Lola
Rachel Binder ...
Dancing Girl
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Real Estate Agent
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Charge Nurse
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Margaret
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Edwin
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Doctor
John Ireland ...
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Malcolm
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Old Woman
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Therapist
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Charlotte
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A man is suddenly drawn kicking and screaming into caring for his dying mother, and amidst the sudden crush of responsibility he tries to gauge the measure and worth of a man and a life.

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What do you do when the one thing that's been true all your life isn't true anymore?

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Drama

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11 December 2005 (USA)  »

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Benji has to come to terms with himself and his anger with his mother before she dies
22 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very strong directorial debut which has his protagonist, Benji on a journey towards both self-destruction and redemption. It reminded me of a film like Garden State in that it has a lot on its mind and takes an irreverent though fundamentally serious tone with some big issues. Benji is shaken from his cycle of emotional self destruction when his mother has a stroke and he must be emotionally and financially responsible for her. The film's strong visual style drives the story forward as Benji has to come to terms with himself and his anger with his mother before she dies.

The look of this film is really well done with some great visual motifs and along with the subject matter and the great cast very gripping. The writing rings true and the freewheeling dialogue is subtle and natural. Eduardo Ballerini stars as Benji in a powerful and really impressive performance. Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous) appears in a wonderful turn against type as a sympathetic nurse, and Sean Gullette from Pi is affecting as Benji's grieving best friend. The real find are some of the supporting actors—Paul McCrane from ER does a funny and touching turn as a physical therapist who gives better than he gets, and others like the barman played by Stephen Wastell, the girlfriend played by Paula Ficara and the young girl Emily Ratakowski are all engaging and very natural. The old folks home administrator John Ireland is very funny and smarmy. This is one of those movies that demands a lot from an audience but gives so much back in return.


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