Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A British period piece with romance, family relationships, a wedding, Elizabeth McGovern. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything. Perhaps there was a Part 1 out there somewhere that I missed. It certainly would have established who these characters were, exactly who was related to whom, and why they specifically were at the middling country estate on the wedding day of a miserable bride to be. That the bride had a mother (McGovern) and a sister of younger but indecipherable age was clear. That a miserable mope named Joseph was not totally welcome, yet given the run of the house was established. That Joseph and Dolly, the bride to be of some other fellow, had a passionate,fun-filled past was established. Beyond that was a cast of characters -relatives? friends? neighbors? servants - of no purpose other than some feeble comic relief involving confetti explosions and pratfalls; or wiser-than-the-main-characters insights into what was up between Dolly and Joseph. Flashbacks showed how right-for-each-other were Dolly and Joseph. Now she was marrying another, had invited Joseph to the wedding, wouldn't see him, pined for him in the flashbacks, married the other guy anyway, and left with him for South America without the tortoise given to her by Joseph, which the cad of a husband wouldn't let her take along. Meanwhile Joseph wanders around the house, doesn't attend the wedding ceremony, pines for Dolly in flashbacks, can't get up the gumption to stop the wedding, and finally becomes upset enough, when it's too late, to spill the dramatic revelation that Dolly is pregnant. The weeping by the onlookers to this revelation was so stagy as to be more comic than the confetti bombs. All in all truly a badly conceived and directed effort.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There wasn't one single thing about this movie that I didn't like - and
like a lot. Well... there was sister Marsha, who's pain-in-the-ass
character was a big part of what made the film so good.
Buzzy and Katie have it all figured out - now that they've learned from bad first marriages, don't have to spend too much time together, tell each other everything, and have great sex. What could possibly screw up this ideal new marriage? All together now, we that have been there - FAMILY. Enter Buzzy's wayward, heartbroken, irresponsible, and unexpected sister Linda. Then throw in the marriage death throes of Katie's sister Marsha and husband Max who haven't had sex in 15 years. Suddenly secrets sneak in, sex is withheld, loyalties are tugged in opposite directions, and bath towels are enough to cause a wonderfully realistic meltdown.
When I saw, after watching, that Edward Burns had written, directed, cast, and made this spot-on life-as-it-really-is movie for under $10,000, I was awe stuck. Thanks, sir. I loved it.
It seems fair to say that the title "Falling Angels" is plural so as to
include not only the baby brother who somehow fell over Niagara Falls
and whose picture is later given wings and enshrined behind wood
paneling in the Field family's basement. It also describes the mother,
Miranda Richardson, whose spirit has been gradually destroyed by her
volatile, controlling, husband, until she is reduced to a morbidly
depressed alcoholic with no life beyond the couch and television. Each
of her three high-school age daughters are falling as well, away from
the insular family where no outsiders are allowed to observe the sad
dynamics, no help is asked for or accepted. Each family member is alone
in coping with their emotions and longings. Still there is always the
sense that this is a family with strong ties and feelings for each
The three sisters gravitate (fall) into outside relationships, whose merits and wisdom are not judged by the movie, but simply shown. The girls' future lives are being formed, and will always have been influenced by the events of the past -including forced confinement in a bomb shelter by their father as an exercise in preparedness. Even that act of well-intentioned cruelty is not judged too harshly by the film. It's a misguided deed done for the sake of the family. There is no angst or acting out or weepy reconciliation drama in this family. Instead there is some anger, some sadness, and some unspoken love.
The acting is first rate by all. Miranda Richardson is excellent as the fragile porcelain-like mother, drained of spirit, quietly detaching from life. The portrayal of the late 1960's is the most realistic I have ever seen. It's achieved not by the musical score, or the pop-culture icons of the period. Instead it is the 'feel' of the house and furnishings, the neighborhood, the clothing. And also, it shows how life then was somehow different than today quieter, more private at least for some of us and the families we grew up in during that time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie with no prior knowledge of plot or reviews other
than what was printed on the DVD case. What early on seemed to hold a
lot of promise, and some thought-provoking ideas, ended up being
muddled and disappointing. Elizabeth Moss acts her heart out as Jessie,
the smoking, drinking, shoplifting daughter of born-again Christians.
Jessie can not conform to her family's moral dictates, or to the
traditional expectations of what is or is not appropriate behavior for
a young girl. She wants to be special, and she is. There are things
that she "knows" through psychic inner vision. And when the boy she
loves rapes her while she is passed out, Jessie "knows" that she is
pregnant, but not that she had sex. Instead she "knows" that God told
her she is carrying the next Christ. The movie then explores how
Jessie, her family, and others in her circle of fellow humans deal with
Some of the best scenes/ideas include: Jessie declaring that being the mother of Christ isn't special enough; being Christ is. Jessie's sister's anger because God would choose the less righteous Jessie to talk to rather than her own pious self. Jessie comforting and dancing with her grieving mother (although Robin Wright Penn really overdoes the tears and sobbing ). The way Jessie pushes those she loves away by loving them too openly and aggressively.
Some of the scenes/ideas that detracted from the story: The crazy lady wailing for her lost babies turns up about five times more often than necessary. The lesbian sex scene seemed thrown in for no good reason, unless to underscore the heavy handed depiction of most all the males in the film as slimy spineless threats. The naked townsfolk gathered in a hand-holding circle in the water to celebrate a birth, was just embarrassing.
Overall the movie held my interest. The pace never dragged. The camera was brutally unflattering in it's close-ups showing every wart and flaw. The production was gritty, never slick. If only the touches of feminist preachiness had been left out, it would have held together better.
It's not often that a film is populated by more than a score of
characters of every age, all of who are uniquely likable. Me and You
and Everyone We Know gives each character basic goodness, intelligence,
vulnerability, and longing. The ways in which their lives intersect and
connect are sometimes hilarious, and sometimes poignant, and sometimes
both at once. No one wants to get hurt, or to hurt others in their
search for human connection.
Miranda July's character's tentative advances toward the trying-so-hard-to-do-the-best-he-can shoe salesman played by John Hawkes, are all too real. Knowing when to push a good thing just a little farther, and when to back off to give the other some space and time is always tricky. I can't think of another film that showed the results of a push too far so subtly. And her kind persona's outburst of "But first you have to call you ______", while waiting by the phone for a chance to set things right was perfect.
Hawke's older son Peter is so believably understated in his words and actions (except when alone and totally comfortable with his younger brother Robbie). Peter's diplomatic judgement of the relative skills of two nubile young girls who use him as a test of their prowess, is sweetly commendable.
And speaking of sweet, there is the actual meeting of the joy-to-watch Robbie and the person he has attracted through his straight-out expression of interest via the internet. What a match. And what grace both display in how it's handled.
This movie made me laugh, shake my head "yes, that's how life is", and even want to look for the human goodness and decency in other people who's lives share time and space with mine. And I'm definitely not a Pollyanna by nature.
After watching Spider as well as another short film titled Lucky, it
seems that Nash Edgerton has a slightly warped mind that relishes the
bizarre unexpected plot twist. Even though the final twist in Spider is
rather macabre, I also found it kind of humorous - sort of a "that's
horrid but it does serve you right" reaction.
The production of Spider is very real-life and natural feeling, gritty rather than slick. The actress who plays Jill, Mirrah Foulkes, is especially good. Her reactions to Jack's 'sweeet' attempts at making up and to his dreadfully misguided joke, are most believable.
Watching Spider is like reading an imaginative short story, I hope to be able to view more offbeat and good stories by Mr. Edgerton.