IMDb > The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
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The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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The Private Lives of Pippa Lee -- After nearly two decades caught under the wing of an aging husband (Alan Arkin), devoted mother and housewife Pippa Lee (Robin Wright) undergoes a midlife breakthrough. Unearthing the sexually curious wild child of her teens (as portrayed by Blake Lively), Pippa sparks a relationship with a kindred soul (Keanu Reeves). Robin Wright delivers a stunning and revelatory performance in Pippa Lee; a wry, moving, and complex portrait of the many lives behind a single name.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee -- After her much older husband forces a move to a suburban retirement community, Pippa Lee engages in a period of reflection and finds herself heading toward a quiet nervous breakdown
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee -- Clip: Why doesn't anyone around here help me?


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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Rebecca Miller (screenplay)
Rebecca Miller (book)
View company contact information for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 July 2009 (Ireland) See more »
The life you love may be your own. See more »
After her much older husband forces a move to a suburban retirement community, Pippa Lee engages in a period of reflection and finds herself heading toward a quiet nervous breakdown. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 4 nominations See more »
(265 articles)
User Reviews:
Great characters and performances, but slightly lacking in plot. See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robin Wright ... Pippa Lee (as Robin Wright Penn)

Mike Binder ... Sam Shapiro

Alan Arkin ... Herb Lee

Winona Ryder ... Sandra Dulles

Ryan McDonald ... Ben Lee

Cornel West ... Don Sexton

Maria Bello ... Suky Sarkissian
Arnie Burton ... Doctor

Tim Guinee ... Des Sarkissian

Drew Beasley ... Chester Sarkissian, 6

Madeline McNulty ... Young Pippa, 7
Beckett Melville ... Chester Sarkissian, 13

Zoe Kazan ... Grace Lee
Billy Wheelan ... Waiter

Shirley Knight ... Dot Nadeau

Keanu Reeves ... Chris Nadeau

Joan Copeland ... Piano Player
J.R. Horne ... Johnnie Nadeau

Blake Lively ... Young Pippa
Adam Shonkwiler ... Chester Sarkissian, 22

Richard DeDomenico ... Elderly Man

Robin Weigert ... Aunt Trish

Julianne Moore ... Kat

Christin Sawyer Davis ... Shelly

Dan DeLuca ... Craig Simms (as Zero)
Adam Grupper ... Max Kessler
Sean-Michael Bowles ... Jed

Audrey Lynn Weston ... Terry
Sean Casey ... Calvin

Monica Bellucci ... Gigi Lee
Angela Trento ... Woman

Teresa Yenque ... Alphonsa

Lola Pashalinski ... Mrs. Mankievitz
Myra Lucretia Taylor ... Night Nurse
Annie Purcell ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Marc Alan Austen ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)

David Boston ... Man at Fish Truck (uncredited)
Andrew Bradley ... Church Goer (uncredited)
Edie Hofstatter ... Delivery Room Nurse (uncredited)
Marca Leigh ... S & M Girl (uncredited)

Shane Mehigan ... Twin Brother (uncredited)

Rich Rothbell ... Literary Agent (uncredited)

Harry L. Seddon ... Church Friend Of Suky Sarkissian (uncredited)

Directed by
Rebecca Miller 
Writing credits
Rebecca Miller (screenplay)

Rebecca Miller (book)

Produced by
Jean-Luc De Fanti .... executive producer
Jill Footlick .... executive producer
Dede Gardner .... producer
Warren T. Goz .... executive producer
Jeremy Kleiner .... executive producer
Stewart McMichael .... executive producer
Brad Pitt .... executive producer
Jeff Sagansky .... executive producer
Lemore Syvan .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Rohatyn 
Cinematography by
Declan Quinn (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sabine Hoffmann 
Casting by
Cindy Tolan 
Production Design by
Michael Shaw 
Set Decoration by
Cherish M. Hale  (as Cherish Magennis Hale)
Costume Design by
Jennifer von Mayrhauser 
Makeup Department
Alessandro Bertolazzi .... makeup artist: Monica Bellucci
Robert Chiu .... key hair stylist
LuAnn Claps .... makeup department head
Giorgio Gregorini .... hair stylist: Monica Bellucci
Giorgio Gregorini .... makeup artist: Monica Bellucci
Peggy Nicholson .... hair department head
Nicky Pattison .... key makeup artist
Jovan Vitagliano .... key hair stylist
Patrick Conlon .... tattoo designer (uncredited)
Josh Lord .... assistant tattoo artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Lola Belsito .... production supervisor
Erin Borel .... post-production supervisor
Alison Palmer Bourke .... executive in charge of production: Inspired Axtions (as Alison Palmer)
Jason Feuerstein .... production supervisor: Inspired Actions
Lemore Syvan .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Francois Caillaud .... second assistant director (as François Caillaud)
Borjan Jovanovich .... second second assistant director (as Boryan Jovanovich)
John M. Tyson .... first assistant director
Francois Caillaud .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Art Department
Jose Amor .... carpenter
Maureen Angelos .... scenic
Pamela Blum .... shop electric
Gary Boesch .... key carpenter
Krzysztof J. Bratun .... scenic (as Krzysztof Bratun)
Mark Cheney .... camera scenic
John J. Ciccimarro .... carpenter (as John Ciccimarro)
Alex Devlin .... carpenter (as Allex Devlen)
Neil Driscoll Jr. .... set dresser (as Neil Driscoll)
Mary Fellows .... shopper
Shannon Finnerty .... additional props
Yolan Fisher .... property master
Bobbie Frankel .... shopper
Emily Gaunt .... charge scenic
Shaun Gilbert .... shop electric
Andrew Heikkila .... second props (as Andy Heikkila)
Tom Hocking .... key construction grip
Gavin A. Holmes .... carpenter (as Gavin Holmes)
Michael Kall .... carpenter (as Mike Kall)
Barbara A. Kastner .... on-set dresser (as Barbara Kastner)
Keith Kastner .... set dresser
Martin Kirchoff .... carpenter (as Marty Kirchoff)
Rob Murke .... shop electric
Kathi Prate .... set dresser
Rob Raposa .... best boy construction grip
Kevin C. Reidy .... key construction grip (as Kevin Reidy)
Paul Rovera .... carpenter (as Paul Rovira)
Pierre Rovira .... construction coordinator
Jim Sten .... leadman
Sylvia Trapanese .... scenic artist
Michael Wiegand .... additional props
Don Zappia .... best boy construction grip (as Donny Zappia)
Melissa B. Miller-Costanzo .... art department coordinator (uncredited)
Elizabeth Ralston .... art department production assistant (uncredited)
Randall Richards .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Arielle Toelke .... custom props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Alan Collins .... sound facility director: ardmore sound
Caoimhe Doyle .... foley artist
Steve Fanagan .... first assistant sound editor
John Fitzgerald .... sound re-recording mixer
Sarah Gaines .... supervising sound editor
Tom Johnson .... recording mixer
Tom Johnson .... sound effects editor
Jean McGrath .... foley recordist
Teferra McKenzie .... boom operator
Desiree Ortiz .... sound utility
Jeff Pullman .... sound mixer
Christopher R. Walsh .... assistant sound effects editor (as Christopher Walsh)
Steve Fanagan .... assistant foley artist (uncredited)
Claire Houghtalen .... additional boom operator (uncredited)
Rich Macar .... commentary re-recordist (uncredited)
Nicolas Mazet .... boom operator (uncredited)
Jon Tendrich .... production sound mixer: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Dave Wilson .... adr mixer: Atlanta (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Connie Brink .... special effects coordinator
Matt Vogel .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Glen Bennett .... flame artist
Jesse Morrow .... visual effects artist: Technicolor New York
Steve Reiss .... visual effects executive producer: Sea Level VFX
Morgan Miller .... digital retouching (uncredited)
Paola Varvaro .... digital artist: digital restoration (uncredited)
Douglas Crosby .... stunt coordinator (as Doug Crosby)
Joan Preston .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
John Bolz .... key rigging grip
John Bolz .... rigging grip (as John Bolz Sr.)
Michael W. Brennan .... rigging gaffer (as Mike Brennan)
Robert Carnevale .... company grip (as Bob Carnevale)
Neil Danziger .... video assist operator
Glenn Davis .... generator operator
James P. Dolan .... best boy rigging (as J.P. Dolan)
James Domorski .... 24 frame playback operator
Peter Elliot .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Brant S. Fagan .... Steadicam operator (as Brant Fagan)
Lisa Marie Gleeson .... electrician
Gary Jackiewicz .... dolly grip: 'b' camera
James Kelly .... electrician
Tommy Kerwick Jr. .... best boy grip (as Tom Kerwick Jr.)
Billy Kerwick .... company grip (as Bill Kerwick)
Tom Kerwick .... key grip
David Kissinger .... electrician (as Dave Kissinger II)
Stephen Kozlowski .... second assistant camera
Ronnie Lantz .... video assist operator
Charles Libin .... camera operator
Nathan Gabriel Lopez .... loader (as Nathan Lopez)
Matthew Luberda .... dolly grip (as Matt Luberda)
Parris Mayhew .... Steadicam operator
John Murphy .... video assist operator
Brendan Jamieson O'Brien .... video assist operator (as Brendan O'Brien)
Neil O'Malley .... rigging grip
Gene Page .... still photographer
Gregory Principato .... first assistant camera
Leigh Rathner .... second assistant camera: 'b' camera
Frank Rinato .... first assistant camera: 'b' camera
Robert Sciretta .... gaffer
Mark Stetz .... best boy
Newsha Tauakolian .... still photographer: Grace Lee's photographs
Jelani Atu Wilson .... loader: "b" camera
Autumn Eakin .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
Spencer Gillis .... additional film loader (uncredited)
Paul Goroff .... super technocrane operator (uncredited)
Charles Libin .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Peter Tommasi .... scorpio head technician (uncredited)
Animation Department
Jonathan Ackerman .... animation production artist: Asterisk Animation
Noella Borie .... assistant animator: Asterick Animation
Christina Capozzi Riley .... assistant animator: Asterick Animation (as Christina Riley)
Kristen Collins .... assistant animator: Asterick Animation (as Kristen A. Collins)
Doug Compton .... animator: Asterisk Animation
Jessica Ng .... animation production artist: Asterisk Animation
Brian O'Connell .... creative supervisor: Asterick Animation
Richard O'Connor .... creative supervisor: Asterick Animation
Keryn Thompson .... assistant animator: Asterick Animation
Leah Tinari .... character designer: Asterick Animation
Nina Torr .... animation production artist: Asterisk Animation
Casting Department
Adam Caldwell .... casting associate
Todd Feldman .... extras casting
Grant Wilfley .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leslie Bernstein .... assistant costume designer
Justine Chevalier .... wardrobe supervisor
Lucy Cottrell .... costume intern
Linda Giammarese .... costumer
Candice Knox Nielsen .... costume intern (as Candice Knox)
Jessica Pitcairn .... costume production assistant
Brenda Renfroe .... tailor
Dave Olin Rogers .... tailor
Carol Ann Simone .... costume intern
Jennifer Lynn Tremblay .... costume intern (as Jen Tremblay)
Rose Wells .... on-set wardrobe (as Rosie Wells)
Lucia Lettini .... set costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Dana Bloder .... digital intermediate producer
Damon Cardasis .... post-production coordinator
Kristyn DiPane .... dailies project manager
Charles Herzfeld .... digital intermediate facility advisor
Barbara Jean Kearney .... digital intermediate executive producer
Russ Senzatimore .... first assistant editor
Tim Stipan .... digital intermediate colorist
Joe Szutarski .... colorist: dailies
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor (as Joey Violante)
Michael P. Whipple .... digital intermediate engineer
Victoria Anderson .... colorist assistant (uncredited)
Richie Roefaro .... colorist assistant (uncredited)
Daniel Silverman .... digital imaging supervisor (uncredited)
Kevin Vale .... digital film scanning and recording (uncredited)
Music Department
Eleanor Altman .... music librarian
Linda Cohen .... music supervisor
Michael Cumella .... song archivist
Artie Friedman .... score recording engineer
Joyce Hammann .... musician: violin soloist (as Joyce Hamman)
Tyler Hartman .... assistant score recording engineer
Dan Hopler .... score recording engineer
Jamie Lawrence .... additional piano arrangements
Jamie Lawrence .... musician: piano soloist
Jamie Lawrence .... score producer
Richard Locker .... musician: cello soloist
Michael Rohatyn .... score producer
Kimberlee Wertz .... music contractor (as Kimberly Wertz)
Bryon Westcott .... assistant score recording engineer
Transportation Department
Richard R. Busardo .... driver (as Rick Busardo)
Ralph Devivo .... driver
Dan Feather .... driver (as Feather)
Rich Finch .... driver
George Forte .... driver
Albert Masteri .... driver
Tom O'Connor .... driver
Arthur Priest .... driver
John Michael Vukson .... driver
Timothy J. Wood .... transportation captain (as Tim Wood)
Other crew
Mara Alcaly .... location scout/assistant
Hillary Amster .... location coordinator
Tara Andrus .... production accountant (as Tara Andrus Glasser)
Alberto Barrezueta .... craft service (as Alberto Barrazuetta)
Beverly Billin .... assistant production coordinator
David E. Bisson .... intern (as David Bisson)
Erin Borel .... production coordinator
Steve Boyle .... accountant: post-production
Nicole Bukowski .... assistant production accountant
Damon Cardasis .... assistant: Rebecca Miller
Ellen Athena Catsikeas .... location manager
Jared Cauliffe .... set production assistant (as Jared S. Cauliffe)
Luis Cedillo .... chef
Lauren Cioffi .... set production assistant
Angie Conners .... international marketing
Nekia Daste .... production assistant: first team
David de Roos .... stand-in for mr. reeves
Eric Dimitratos .... production assistant
David Dreishpoon .... caterer
David Dreishpoon .... craft service
Sarah Esberg .... assistant: Jeremy Kleiner
John B. Finn .... accountant: post-production (as John Finn)
Sarah Follett .... location scout/assistant
Linda Francoletti .... on-set tutor
Emily Gannett .... product placement
Max Gantz .... intern
Jeff Gernert .... location production assistant
Joanne Getson .... production secretary
David Barrett Graver .... production assistant: script (as David Graver)
Vincent Grippi .... intern
Bryan Hickey .... intern
Kristin Ilagan .... office production assistant
Jeffrey Keefe .... office production assistant
Lauren Lawrence .... assistant: Jean-Luc De Fanti
Lauren Lillie .... assistant: Lemore Syvan
Stephanie A. Marquardt .... script supervisor (as Stephanie Marquardt)
Dawn Mountain .... production coordinator
Nikki Parker .... unit publicist: Rogers & Cowan
Diego Pina .... chef
Joanne Schioppi .... unit publicist: Rogers & Cowan
R. Zachary Shildwachter .... key set production assistant (as Zach Shildwachter)
Ashley Tener .... assistant: Dede Gardner
Jessica Thorne .... payroll accountant (as Jess Thorne)
Alicia Van Couvering .... clearances
Chad Yavarow .... set production assistant
Wendy Benge .... finance attorney (uncredited)
Harrison Bohrman .... location scout (uncredited)
Dama Claire .... production consultant (uncredited)
Tom Naclerio .... intern (uncredited)
Justin Rosini .... location scout (uncredited)
Ani Simon-Kennedy .... production office intern (uncredited)
Tom Trocola .... production assistant (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexual content, brief nudity, some drug material and language
98 min | Germany:93 min (Berlin International Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Maggie Gyllenhaal was considered for the role of Suky, but dropped out due scheduling conflicts and Maria Bello replaced her.See more »
Sam Shapiro:Writers are vampires. I'm waiting for the right girl to come along and make me a human being.See more »
Teen BabySee more »


Is this movie based on a book?
See more »
41 out of 63 people found the following review useful.
Great characters and performances, but slightly lacking in plot., 6 June 2009
Author: aramgutang from Australia

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a film that concerns itself with the people in it, rather than a narrative. Each character is unique and well developed, but more importantly, feels real and easy to care for. There are no cardboard cutouts or roles simply convenient to the plot. Their actions are delightfully unexpected, yet fully consistent with who they are. Even the minor roles feel like they've had 2 hours worth of backstory thought out for them.

The backstory we get to see is that of Pippa Lee (Penn). She has recently moved into a suburban neighbourhood with her husband Herb (Arkin), a publisher who is at least a few decades her senior. Herb has just retired after having his third heart attack, and intends his new home to be his final resting place. The couple have two grown children and some old friends who are witnesses to what appears to be a facade of marital bliss.

The story of how Pippa ended up in this arrangement, starting with her early childhood, is told concurrently with the main narrative. We learn of Pippa's pill-popping mother (Bello), her aunt's gay lover (Moore), and how she met Herb. Meanwhile, the suppressed malaise in the present time begins to make itself known through a number of events, starting with the overnight disappearance of half of a chocolate cake and the appearance of a sock in the refrigerator.

What is truly remarkable about this film are the performances. Robin Wright Penn gives a stunning portrayal of a woman who seems to say more with a smile than with her words. It might be early in the year, but I would not be surprised to see an Oscar nod come voting time. She is a pleasure to watch, and really breathes air into what could've been a lifeless character.

Alan Arkin is great as usual, and the blunt dialogue of his character suits him well. When Pippa's character tells us she longs to listen to him speak, we are in full agreement. Winona Ryder and Julianne Moore also make their minor characters stand out with quirky delightfulness. Even Keanu Reeves is adequate in his role.

One thing this film seems to lack, however, is a strong narrative. At times, it feels like a loosely bound collection of anecdotes from Pippa's life. While each of these anecdotes have their own appeal and quite a few laughs, they don't quite manage to come together into a compelling story, without which the film is just another forgettable family drama, albeit with really interesting people.

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