Every year the Viennale invites a famous director to produce a short film as the festival trailer. In 2013 the choice has fallen on Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat, world-renowned for... See full summary »
Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).
Inevitably seeing this movie brought to mind another with a similar title, "Love And other Drugs", which was released later but I saw first. As well as titles with the same three first words, both films are based on a book (in this case a successful novel by Ayelet Waldman), are scripted by the director (in this instance, Don Roos), have an attractive and young lead actress (in this one, Natalie Portman), and deal with challenging social issues (this time, step-parenting and infant mortality). However, where "..Drugs" was a romantic comedy, "..Impossible Pursuits" has less romance and very little comedy. In fact, at times it is quite harrowing.
It works because of an intelligent script (although the dialogue is sometimes hard to follow) and some fine acting, not just from Portman - who is excellent - but Scott Cohen as her husband, Lisa Kudrow as the ex-wife, and Charlie Tahan as the troubled child of the first marriage. Many films set in New York include scenes in Central Park, but here the location is particularly well used, especially in a silent walk to remember the deaths of the unborn or newly born. The soundtrack too neatly complements the action in a work that is well worth viewing as a contrast to the standard rom-com.
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