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At Middleton
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At Middleton More at IMDbPro »

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58 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

A genuinely touching story about falling into love told elegantly

9/10
Author: Motibenya
5 September 2013

I usually shun writing reviews here or anywhere else, but this film is really well written and acted. I am surprised with the 6.8 score, for I believe it should be at least of 8.5.Firstly, the combination of Vera Fermiga acting as the mother of taissa, who is, I believe her youngest sister in real life is smart and interesting, and there is this natural chemistry between the two. Andy Garcia, manages to pull off, in my opinion, one of his best performances on screen. I also loved that campus was a very dominant participant in the film, long shots, the use of natural light, and campus life in general helped in believing that, such a love story could actually occur in just a few hours of roaming the campus lawn. If you are trying to decide whether to watch this film or not, then go watch it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope this tips the balance for you in its favor.

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31 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

At Middleton is not a plain vanilla romantic comedy: it is intergenerational, critical and philosophical

10/10
Author: output-based-money from Carlsbad, California
26 October 2013

The mother daughter resemblance is in a way haunting because the daughter is so compelling, yet so young. I found myself spellbound by her eyes and her whole facial expression and body language to establish a mother- daughter tension and young impatient ambition as interesting as the romance between two fifty year-old's married to someone other than present company. Andy Garcia is perfectly cast and appealing to follow as he and this opinionated broad clash and fall in love with their opposite type. This a a movie about life portrayed as extremely attractive yet farcical. It is pure entertainment that wins over an audience within minutes. It dares to confront the real and possibly dull or difficult with the fun, funny, and fanciful and a real good slap in the face which echoes I needed that. Why give it a 10? Because it never missed a beat.

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29 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent Humor with a Dose of Introspection

10/10
Author: kristi711 from Boston
6 October 2013

I saw this film at the Woodstock Film Festival and attended the Q&A that followed with the writers, director, Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia as well as some of the supporting actors. The film was shot in 20 days which was quite surprising b/c it flowed as though well rehearsed. The entire audience genuinely responded to the wit and humor that prevailed throughout the film, and the more poignant moments added a balance that grounded the story. It was obvious when the actors and filmmakers were on stage post preview that there was a wonderful camaraderie that translated well to the screen. Both Andy Garcia's daughter and Vera Farmiga's little sister had roles in the movie and made their own marks. I completely enjoyed the movie and hope that it makes it to the larger market so that more people can enjoy this fabulous dose of both humor and heart.

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

If you liked the Before Sunrise trilogy you will love this. A movie I liked much more then expected. Romantic and real.

7/10
Author: Tony Heck (cosmo_tiger@hotmail.com) from United States
1 March 2014

"By the time the afternoon bell rings you will have fallen in love. I guarantee it." George Hartman (Garcia) and his son arrive at Middleton College for a tour. While there he meets Edith Martin (Farmiga) who is doing the same with her daughter. The two begin talking and soon strike up a fast friendship that over the course of the day evolves into something that makes them question everything. I'll start by saying I wasn't really excited about watching this. I expected a basic love story with out much substance. What I did find was I liked it much more then I expected. While the movie is really nothing more then two people talking for an hour and a half it was actually entertaining to watch. The best way to really describe what happens in this is to compare it to the Before Sunrise trilogy. This has the same feel. Two people meet and we watch their relationship grow over a few hours. The most entertaining aspect of the movie is watching how the roles of the children and parents switch. The parents have the college experiences and the kids stress about everything else. Overall, if you liked the Before Sunrise movies then you will like this as well. Better then I expected, it was very romantic and a very real love story. I give this a B+.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Lovely story with laughs, profundities on marriage and the empty nest

10/10
Author: Lisa Carpenter (lisa@grandmasbriefs.com) from United States
10 October 2013

I had the pleasure of participating in the screening of this movie at the AARP Life@50+ Expo, one of the selections in the Movies for Grownups lineup. What a splendid film AT MIDDLETON is — a fast favorite of this picky movie lover.

I've yet to see a better, more realistic depiction of the fears parents face as kids leave the nest and we're left wondering not only if we adequately prepared our children for the real world but if WE are prepared for the reality of our long-term marriage once the kids are out of the house. The interaction of the actors — mother and daughter, father and son, strangers meeting and feeling something they never expected — is amusing at times, heartbreaking at others, real and true throughout.

I find no flaws with AT MIDDLETON. The writing, acting, chemistry between the actors, music and even the setting were truly delightful. I don't typically watch movies more than once. I've no doubt, though, that I'll be watching AT MIDDLETON again... and again.

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20 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Heart Touching

10/10
Author: Fahad Iqbal from Bradford
16 November 2013

I was not sure if I am going to watch this movie but from the start of the movie, it was like, it made me to watch till the last minute. This movie has a very strong touch of pure Love and emotions. Beautifully acted, great place to shoot, strong script, well defined characters with a very strong feeling. Movie also taught us how to love your partner and how to take care of their love and feeling. Marrying someone is not the only thing to carry out your relationship but giving time, care, love, attention, purity, respect, trust, understanding must be there, otherwise, they will find someone else giving the same characteristics and you might loose what you gained. If you watch this movie, please learn something. 10/10

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Unusual and sweet romantic comedy, well acted

7/10
Author: steven-leibson from United States
17 November 2013

This is an unusually smart romantic comedy. Two parents bring their kids to Middleton College to check the place out. One kid is laser-focused on studying at this college under a linguistics professor that she idolizes because of his book. The other kid is drifting through life so far on his big toothy smile and good looks. His dad is a successful heart surgeon. Her mom, well she's in retail. Their initial meeting starts with a parking lot argument as both arrive at Middleton College. The two adults react very badly with each other. He's a dork. She's a harpy. They are so repelled by the "otherness" of each other that you know very early on that they will fall in love by the end of the movie.

This movie is not so much about these two characters falling in love. It's all about the few hours it takes for them to go from strangers to close friends and the number of comedic adventures they manage to pack into a day back at college for both of them. Heavy on the comedy, light on the romance. If you think of all the opportunities a college might offer as a backdrop for this story arc, well they're all in there. It's a sweet, comfortable movie—sort of like macaroni and cheese—with some very smart, funny dialog written for the characters.

A pleasant way to spend the afternoon, which is what I did thanks to the San Jose Camera Cinema Club.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

College visit leads to parents' education in their marriages and selves.

8/10
Author: maurice yacowar from Canada
13 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This "little film" is surprisingly ambitious — and effective.

It subverts the college student rom-com by focusing on the parents at their nest emptying. For both generations this new liberation can be terrifying. As Edith tells another parent, the kids' departure leaves the parents realizing how little they know or are connected to their 18-year partners. The theatrical scene Edith plays with George reveals how a marriage can hide lives of quiet desperation. In the crowning irony, the two college roommates coolly watch the two adults getting stoned and acting wacky, under their knowing eye.

The film also replays the old Benedict/Beatrice device of characters who initially snipe at each other gradually discovering themselves simpatico. George and Edith begin and end as opposites, but they switch poles. At first he's the rod-ass and she's the bohemian free spirit. She cures his fear of heights, he her temptation to be totally carefree. By the end he's loosened up enough to want to have an affair with her and she retreats to the safer ground of self-denial.

Their respective kids replay that shift. Conrad leaves the security of his studly "million dollar smile" to pursue his disembodied, faceless role on campus radio. Wilder and more precocious Audrey takes to heart her idol's distinction between healthy ambition and unhealthy obsession.

In both those relationships — and in the respective parents' scenes with their kids — there is ample demonstration of what Audrey reads from her idol's book: linguistics must deal with what is not said as much as with what is. Heard sentences are meaty but those unheard are meatier. Hence the really delicate work in facial expression and body language throughout, especially as the leads increasingly open up and connect. Hence the confessional Truth behind the two parents stage "performance."

The campus name, Middleton, puts all its characters in some middle. The two teens are pivoting into adulthood. The two parents are turning from the stability of their unfulfilling marriages into self-realization — or not. Both turn passive at the moment of decision, as imaged in their letting their kids drive. When George prefers the long way home he's taking more time to face the life he dreads, to put behind the happier alternative he has just encountered. Informed by the reflections on French films, we don't get the usual American film's happy ending. But the chance remains. We're hoping this one-shot might lead to a Richard Linklater trilogy where we can follow these so very touching and appealing lovers into a happier afterlife.

Finally the film is about what a college education should be. The two parents get a college education in one day when they meet new people, try out each other's alien perspectives and experience, act out exploratory expressions of themselves, learn to breathe more freely and deeply, get new insight into themselves and each other, test experimental things they never would in their outside (aka "real") lives, and end up significantly altered, illuminated, broadened in understanding and emotion, whichever road they pursue.

It's an idyllic university, a slice of heaven, so the disciplines represented are literature, language, horticulture, the arts, and the pulse is in the library. The linguistics (!) professor's office is a jaw-dropper. The salutary absence of Business, High Tech, a football team, make the setting as Edenic as the two leads' romantic discovery. For more see www.yacowar.blogspot.com

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A Surprising Delight

9/10
Author: gudpaljoey-677-715384 from United States
18 May 2014

I selected this movie largely because of how much I like Vera Farmiga. I've always considered her an actor that does not get the attention she deserves. I had seen Andy Garcia in a number of pictures, and although not his fault, his work always seemed one-dimensional. The gangster, the cad, etc. I was completely stunned by the chemistry and nuanced performances of the pair in a film that I consider one of the most delightful movie experiences of the last ten years. This picture stood out with a unique take on a mid-life romance that didn't pander to a false, popular conclusion, but rewarded the viewer with a thoughtful and adult ending. The acting by all the players was first rate; the writing and dialog was crisp and real; filming and direction were beautifully done. It was an excellent mix of humor, pathos, and it delivered a life message so subtly that close attention had to be paid. Thanks to all who made this picture. I love you Vera.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

a miniature masterpiece

8/10
Author: dragokin
19 January 2014

Trailer for At Middleton is somewhat misleading. This really is a romantic comedy, but the most interesting, if not the most important, moments have been omitted. On the other hand, when you watch the movie, you'll understand how difficult it's been to explain its essence in a couple of minutes of a trailer.

At Middleton shows what seems to be forgotten in contemporary movie-making: Actors performing the art of acting in front of a camera. There is an incredible chemistry between Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga, culminating in the scene where they participate in a class led by Mirjana Jokovic.

This is a small movie that has a lot of pleasant surprises...

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