Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Stephen Adly Guirgis
With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Southern Californian Bree Osbourne, formerly Stanley Chupak, has finally received the news for which she has been waiting: she has been approved for male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery. But before Margaret, her therapist, will allow her to go through with the surgery scheduled in a week's time, Bree has to deal with an unresolved problem from her past. Bree gets a telephone call from a seventeen year old man named Toby Wilkins, who is looking for Stanley, his biological father. Toby is in a New York jail, having been supporting himself by petty crime and hustling. Stanley/Bree knew nothing about Toby before the telephone call. Toby apparently is all alone in the world, with his mother having committed suicide and being estranged from his stepfather in Tennessee. Masquerading as a Christian social worker, Bree, not telling him either of her true identity or her transgender status, bails Toby out of jail and tells him she will take him to Los Angeles, where Toby has aspirations ... Written by
Huffman did a terrific job of making me forget a "star" was doing the title role. Her performance was incredibly authentic. You could just feel the uncomfortableness of Bree as we see her start her journey (both figuratively and literally) and gets to know the son she never knew she had.
Moments of this movie had me laughing out loud. Others brought me near tears. If you see one movie this year, this should be it. It is movies like this that give me hope that some people still care about quality film-making.
A little gossip: the director said that Huffman enthusiastically agreed to do this film and then when it was almost time to start shooting, he found out she had to go to Hollywood in 3 months to shoot "some stupid pilot." Yes, THAT stupid pilot.
55 of 68 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?