A family with an abusive father, a sensitive son, and a mother out of her depth: we see them when Michael is about 12 and when he's in his 30's, a writer of romance novels, going home for his mother and sister's college graduations. We go back and forth between the two periods: when Michael is a boy, the pressure builds to the point when the thin thread keeping them as a family threatens to break, and there's a fight. During Michael's trip home, there's an unexpected death which prolongs his stay and brings to the light his relationship with his father, his aunt, and her young children. Michael's estranged wife joins them for the funeral. Written by
Julia Roberts is married to the film's cinematographer, Daniel Moder. See more »
When Kelly first appears walking into the house after the funeral, the boom mic is visibly above the doorway. See more »
[sits down near Christopher on the roof]
I love what you've done with the room.
[lights a cigarette]
I used to come out here a lot when I was grounded.
[sniffing because he was crying]
Mom told me you were always getting in trouble.
She should talk.
What's that supposed to mean?
Before your mother was a mom, she was my best friend.
You guys have tea parties together?
Yeah, occasionally. Your mother taught me everything I shouldn't know, smartass.
Like how to write like a ...
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I agree with Raj Doctor, although I would rate the film higher.
The film was released in Russia with little publicity and became lost in the summer blockbusters. Without revealing information, the acting is excellent. The story is very indeed very realistic. If you find realism boring, then this is not a film for you.
The final third of the film, however, is missing. I have read that at the Berlin Film Festival, where the film premiered, it was announced to be 2 hours long, but the version in Russia is missing 20 minutes. Because the ending felt rushed while the rest of it was very well controlled, I cannot help but believe that this time was taken out of the final act. It's a shame really, because it could have been a great film. As it is, it is still a very good film that I recommend for the patient viewer.
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