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I'm surprised by the bad reviews here.
For a 20 minute short, I'm quite impressed by the story. It's meant to be a glimpse into a day of the lives of the two characters, a turning point, and it does this extremely well. I was moved by the characters and it certainly takes talent to do that in such a limited time frame. I particularly enjoyed the fact that certain details of the movie were not 'spelled out' for the viewer, instead the audience is able to use its intelligence to imagine the lives of the characters before they were brought to their current point.
I'd be even more awesome if it became a 2 hour movie.
I hope Julia continues to write and direct!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The short film wasn't bad...but it wasn't great... I liked both main
characters... but it all seemed pretty underdeveloped, but then again
it was a 20 minute film so there isn't much room for deep, deep
characters...so for twenty minutes, and for it being Julia Stiles first
time directing, and writing (if I'm not mistaken) it was okay...just
testing the water.
There isn't much more to say that is was a cute/sad film cute: Zooey Deschanel's character and the sad: Bill Irwin's character...but I still despite somewhat liking the short I still felt a bit out of the loop...like what is up with Zooey's character why is she putting on a show for money, and where does it go, and where the hell does she live...and what happened to Bill's wife I'm pretty sure she passed, but how long ago...and the ending it was nice but why was she singing the song at the end...maybe my questions are dumb but hey I felt kind of in & out of the story. And also I had to write more because they want about 10 lines so my original comment ended after the word water.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is obviously the writing and directing debut of the extremely
talented actress, Julia Stiles. Now, when I first heard about this
film, I was intrigued because I didn't see Ms Stiles as a writer or
director, but we now live in an age where we can achieve anything we
want and knock off criticism for the choices we assume best for us, and
obviously, her choice to write and direct "Raving" was an assumption
This film is a very interesting character study, something that I did not know it would be. Coming from ELLE Magazine, I thought this would be something we see every day with your E! news and your Paris Hiltons, whether this dress is hot or not or whether it's Dulce or Gucci or whatever, the fashion does take somewhat of a back seat as Zooey and Bill really make their characters their own and really bring them to life, especially Zooey, really getting into the whole lying and taking money thing to party all night.
I do have some criticism about the writing, however. It is unclear whether Bill Irwin's character has some sort of mental disorder, and whether his character is actually the father of Zooey's character (which I thought made some sort of sense). The film became slightly confusing towards the end with him getting the dress dry cleaned and then all of a sudden she is singing (wearing the dress of course) with a full band behind her, and it isn't clear whether he is watching her or not, or even why the ending is happening at all, even though I do love to hear Zooey sing, she has an amazing voice. One other thing I didn't understand is the whole place where Bill Irwin's character worked, with the cards and all that, but I don't really see that as a heavy plot point, the heaviest plot point is their meeting in the café, obviously.
But as a writing and directing debut, Julia does a fantastic job behind the camera just as she does on camera. I just hope ELLE weren't breathing down Julia's neck whilst writing the script and filming the film, because that would a) ruin the creativity the writer has with the film and b) explain the confusing ending.
Look, it is a character study, and character studies aren't movies your just watch once, think of and then move on, character studies are exactly that: studies of characters, and you must study this over and over to get every crevice of the story out, but on one viewing, it forms good albeit confusing entertainment.
Do not try and build this film up for yourself hype-wise, but it isn't the train wreck people make it out to be. Just watch and observe these two quirky and interesting characters that Julia has decided to focus on in a city full of 8 million people.
*** (out of 4)
A troubled young woman (Zooey Deschanel) and a lonely middle-aged man (Bill Irwin) meets in a cafe and soon their secrets start to come out. The story is a little hit and miss here but Stiles shows some nice directorial touches and the two actors come across very well. It's never quite clear what issues are going on until the very end and even then it doesn't come over as any big shock but the acting keeps this short moving well. Stiles does a good job building up the two characters but a tighter screenplay would have helped.
Being a fan of Julia Stiles (The Bourne trilogy, The Omen, The Business
of Strangers), I was curious to see her first effort at writing and
directing. I was not disappointed.
Bill Irwin (Across the Universe) and Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) were both fascinating as flawed individuals whose past is a shadow to us, and who chance encounter brings about profound changes. There is so much here that a full length feature is worth making.
Head over to iTunes and download your copy to see a great first film by a great star.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After finding that they had this film on YouTube, I clicked on this, intrigued by the director and writer, whom I admire as an actress. Produced by Elle magazine and directed by Julia Stiles (star of such box office successes as "The Bourne Identity"), Raving centres around the relationship of a middle-aged widower (Bill Irwen-delivers lines well, even if they are a little strange) and a young hustler (the brilliant Zooey Deschanel)in New York city. This film, despite the pleasing chemistry between the two stars and the capable direction, failed to completely please me (but, then again, maybe that's my prejudice against short films). Like most short films, Raving falls flat at the end, which, to me at least, is fairly unintelligible.
I viewed this film and then read the comments. I was surprised by the
bad comments. I thought(as an ordinary film viewer)that it was an
enjoyable short film. I enjoyed the acting - which was absolutely not
as bad as the other reviewers thought. I think Zooey Deschanel has a
great future as an actor with the right film. Bill Irwin is an
accomplished actor. This part may not have been the right one for him.
I would think that developing two characters in less than twenty minutes is at most impossible. This film is simply a slice of life--and I believe it accomplished that task. Having worked in New York City for seven years early in my business career helped my appreciation of this slice of life.
I can't believe the reviews I've read. As far as character development,
it needs nothing more. The 23 minutes of film was sufficient to
understand the lifestyles of each main character.
Zooey exemplified confidence, greed, understanding, as well as compassion. I think that is kind of difficult to depict , in the magnitude she did, in a short amount of time. For Mr. Noodle, he was confusing at first, but his character is where the title comes in to play.
Despite the age difference their chemistry was great. I wish we were able to see another 60 minutes of this fine direction.
I'm well aware that a short film gives little room for character
development, but the key to a GREAT short film is when the director and
writer develop the plot and characters fully in their limited time
span. The same is true for short fiction. It takes someone truly
talented to do this correctly. Julia Stiles has not. The audience is
given no valid reason why they should care about either of the two main
characters, who each have their share of issues. There is no logical
progression in their relationship. Basically, it was a very frustrating
I found Zooey Deschanel to be charming and she did well with her material. Bill Irwin's character is obviously meant to be played as a walking shell of a man, but his acting fell flat and was unconvincing.
All in all, this was a failed attempt at something that could have been a compelling portrait of a young New Yorker, a down-and-out business man, and the city they lived in. Instead, we're given a film that feels as if it was done on a whim with no care put into who these characters are.
This is an historically interesting short-- it might be the very worst
short ever made. Julia Styles should be quite angry with her manager
and/or agent for not stopping her from doing this piece of monkey
She should also thank her celebrity for getting this piece of garbage noticed. I think she was on Regis and Kelly this morning hawking it. She explained that the work was based on an experience she had walking around New York City, where someone came up to her crying asking for money to get home. (She, not being very smart, believed this classic con, and gave the girl a bunch of cash.-- wow.) That's essentially the story for this short. I would tell you the rest but I would fall asleep doing so, or I might become injured mentally, in recapping how poor the acting, writing and directing is in this piece.
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