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Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl is one of the best adaptations ever screened with Rosamund Pike's performance of decade
The Book has the most intrigue start, I've ever read: When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with" Enough suspense to later blame Nick Dunne in disappearance of his wife, on the exact day of their 5th anniversary. But even later, Flynn gives a lot reasons to believe that a good wife, amazing Amy, loving woman became a victim of unfaithful husband. And you will partly be true.
It was a wise decision that Gillian herself adopted it as a screenplay, because she was the only one who could fully capture the suspense, characters and story behind the lines. She basically brought everything to the screen, tiny details, all important dialogs and presented characters as she wrote couple of years ago. Because of this precise adaptation we first meet husband and get him fully known, thinking that he is an asshole, cheater and Amy Elliott-Dunne - a smart, beautiful, charming, interesting wife. Definitely a good one. And then we start exploring Amy's character, step by step and the truth just opens up to shock us.
Film gives a lot to think about, but most importantly how false can things be in life, even marriage, how people can destroy you for "nothing" and how important job media does in it. It's a worst nightmare of so called American Dream: a perfect girl, a perfect boy = perfect life! But no. "what are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other" - these are questions marriage is all about, just understanding and learning each other. Because if anyone thinks that people stay the same after they sign some formal papers, they are wrong - just like main characters. They both thought they married persons of their dreams: Nick was the one who "saved" Amy and Amy was a sweet, loving wife. When time passes, and because "marriage is hard work", they expose true selves and marriage stops working. And when marriage stops working, Nick makes mistakes and Amy decides that he shall not be excused. She decides to rebuild a husband she married to, the perfect man for her, the one she can control, who would admire Amazing Amy and make him feel important.
Both lead characters are perfectly written. He is a guy who loved her wife for who she pretended to be. And yes, I think Amy was different in the beginning and as relationship got deeper, he started to look beyond the surface of wife's character. He did not like it and never tried to make it work. Just went out and enjoyed the first tw*t he met. While Amy behaves differently - she prepares a lesson for husband, to make him perfect again, because Amy Elliott-Dunne is not one of those who lose.
A lot has been told about misogyny in Gone Girl. Are you kidding me, people? This is a movie, and a book, with probably the strongest female character and it's nothing but any feminist dream come true. Amy is the woman who had controlled any man in her life, who has won any battle against people who thought she was just another Cool Girl. She is smart, strong, unbeatable, capable of manipulating her husband the way she wants. The movie itself criticizes misogyny in society for victimizing women and envisioning Amy as someone who needed to be protected. I think that Gillian wrote one of the most memorable and solid women in fictional movie/book history.
Flynn also changed the ending in film. I think it tells technically the same story. But I kind of preferred book where Nick tells Amy: ... I feel sorry for you... because every morning you have to wake up and be you It hinted some important things: first, that they finally decided to be themselves and most probably, Nick would spent the rest of his life with Amy - and it means that she wins, forever. The movie ending, makes it a little more vague.
Most of book readers wanted to know how they would screen Amy's diary entry about The Cool Girls. And you know? Fincher nailed it. Amy passing these all kind of girls and being full of hate was one of the best parts of film.
Among other things, Gone Girl has some brilliant cinematography. Camera captures some brilliant shots, which are equally creepy as the story itself. Scene of Nick Dunne and the cat with background of camera flashes blew my mind. It helps to imagine him as a killer and as a bad guy. There are so many scenes, where camera angles can tell the whole story, you should just see it.
Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor once again created brilliant score. The music plays huge part here and their creepy soundtrack, especially in the beginning and end, sell spirit of the movie. Each scene has very carefully chosen music, matching with dialogs, it keeps you ears entertained but focused on the plot.
This film would not be anything without two brilliant lead performances. Most importantly, Rosamund Pike. She delivers performance of her career. I can not imagine anyone being so perfect portraying such complex, weird, creepy, sociopath intelligent woman, who turns out to be the strongest. Rosamund literally disappears in her character, nailing every scene, from smiles to witty dialogs. Her voice makes it all pure enjoyment. It even caused goosebumps in me. Terrifying. That's why I believe Pike is the best actress this year. Sorry all overdue veterans, but she deserves all awards. No doubt.
And Ben Affleck, so widely hates as an actor, is also brilliant. I know these fake smiles are almost natural, the reason he got this part, but still, he absolutely sells Nick's character.
Gone Girl is definitely the best film of the year, so far.
The Good Wife: Shiny Objects (2014)
6th seasons best episode so far: Alicia's campaign has just kicked off
Last week episode Oppo Research mostly explored Alicia's past in the perspective of her candidacy as a States Attorney. Her new manager, Jonathan, tried to dig out every possible loophole in her and her family's past that lead us to secrets we never knew. Practically, 4th episode was a single subject one, having almost nothing to do with Mrs Florrick's new firm or litigation.
Shiny Objects, to the contrary, suggest multi-plot episode taking us into the courtroom, in Florrick/Agos/Lockhart office and guiding us through Alicia's campaign start. In this case, once again, The Good Wife writers managed to bring an amazingly paced episode, very smart story and witty dialogues - whole package of what we love about this show.
I should start with appearance of Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston), who has always stealing the show here. Her being one of my favorite characters in the Good Wife, was the reason I had huge expectations. In fact, it was a lot better.
Alicia and Dean represent a female client who's been fired because of her gender and now they are suing for sexism. Unexpectedly, the second chair for defense is Miss Tascioni, for the very first time, Alicia is Elsbeth are on the opposing sides of courtroom. This was a tough battle, because Carrie's character is extremely smart, original and logical, while Julianne's character is the best at talking and law. I am sure it would be hard to pick a winner between those two, so writers came up with a better solution - to reunite the disputing parties against States Attorney charges and it seems, in the next episode, we will be seeing Alicia and Elsbeth defending their joint clients together from more serious crime.
The court scenes was nothing but pure perfection, as it has been in previous 5 seasons. It was competitive, live, energetic and very interesting, equally focusing on both parties. I liked how Mrs Florrick built her defense against Miss Tascioni and how full of surprises her cross examinations were. I sometimes genuinely think that writers team are the best lawyers in the US.
Alicia's campaign is officially kicked off in Shiny Objects. She's getting an endorsement of Peter and Finn Polmar. Governor and Eli are not happy about it and force to reject ASA's endorsement on open event, however she's as stubborn as ever. The tension leads to a brilliant "tunnel scene", where Alicia just busts Peter's balls, playing the strongest version of herself. She had a clear message that now she is a lot stronger, more determines and independent. That scene had very good lines and brilliant acting from both actors.
As the result, Alicia Florrick gets two endorsements, which shall be considered to be a very successful start of campaign.
Something very serious happens inside Florrick/Agos/Lockhart, the company is under malware attack blocking all and any corporate files and denying access to them. Even after paying requested 50,000 USD the computers still remained locked. Kalinda traces the attacker to Russia and tries to negotiate.
As for performances, Julianne Margulies was just outstanding. The tunnel scene was her best acting in current season. Carrie Preston was no less good, she absolutely stole every second of her appearance in the courtroom. Chris Noth's good moments should also be noted, especially during the endorsement talks with his wife. I think that Diane Lockhart visiting David Lee was a great scene, where both actors did their best to make it enjoyable.
To conclude, Shiny Objects was the best episode in this season and probably one of the best as a whole.
The Good Wife: Oppo Research (2014)
Good enough to keep engaged
In previous episode, Alicia approaches to Eli Gold regarding her running as States Attorney. And of course, he was more than ready for this moment and start of new exciting campaign. So, Oppo Research mostly concentrates on Alicia's issues, her background check and chances of winning the elections.
Since Eli is head of Governor's Office, he can not run another Florrick's campaign, that why he hires one of the best managers Jonathan Elfman. The first meeting between him and Mrs Florrick takes place in her residence discussing backgrounds, pros/cons of her candidacy. It seems, both, Eli and Elfman have done their job, digging out a lot about Alicia, including some news, she had no idea of, for instance, Zach's girlfriend's pregnancy and abortion, his brothers affairs and her mom spanking little child in the mall. Oppo Research is simply about how Alicia starts dealing with her family and her clients after she officially starts to run.
She has to drop Lemond Bishop and she negotiates with Cary and Diane to do so, but Mr. Bishop is neither happy about it, nor is going to change his attorney. Despite the fact that it's been a file motioned about his real estate and it's definitely happening because of Agos, he does not go away.
In this episode, Alicia has to deal with many things, including her family, their reactions and her work. In the meeting with her future campaign manager, we see how strong she is, how she responds to the questions and how strong she feels about herself. I also liked how sincere her character is, not trying to hide any uncertainty and just gives straight answers.
The best part of this episode was Alicia meeting with Finn. They have some connection, bond, that can be evolved to a very pleasant romance, and I am for it.
Oppo Research was a good episode, not one of the bests, but very well written and interesting. It mostly happens in one room, which is Alicia's apartment and it does not have this breathtaking pace, that overwhelms and explodes your mind. It's just a start of something very very big and I hope it comes soon.
The Good Wife: Dear God (2014)
Dear God brings it all: great acting, tension and brilliant writing
Dear God, third episode of The Good Wife, returns with Cary's trial - ASA is now trying to revoke his bail on the grounds that he contacted DA's the only witness and allegedly killed him. Diane Lockhart, now as a lawyer of Agos, is trying to keep her partner out of jail, which definitely seems unusually hard, since States Attorney office is spending all their resources to somehow imprison Cary.
This episode focuses on two main trials and Alicia's issues about running as SA. First trial is about Cary. Kalinda was seen to meet the disappeared witness and the DA has some visual proof of it, while Mr. Agos admitted to have spent some night with Ms. Sharma. And now Finn Polmar is using it to somehow connect accused to the fact of disappearance.
The same time, one of Cary's clients is suing his neighbour for infringement of patent rights. Because of accusations, Alicia and newcomer Dean Levine-Wilkins represent him in a Christian Arbitration (yeah, you did not misread). The weird part of arbitration is that dispute is solved by the rules of god, aka the Bible. And it's getting hilarious and mysterious the same time. Mrs. Florrick, as an atheist, is not trying to speak of words god, she does not believe in.
This episode perfectly deals with the tension The Good Wife is so good for. It has witty and smart dialogues, interesting plot and impressive scenes. I liked the flashbacks after Cary is back to company and his disagreements about hiring Diane Lockhart. I kind of think all these will boil down to something very very big and I can't wait to see that.
Alicia has some good moments fighting against Eli, who has helped a lot to promote her candidacy for States Attorney elections. She's still struggling, refusing to run, but every time someone tells her to the contrary, she considers it more. In addition, Alicia leans that her husband is endorsing current SA, who threatens Mrs. Florrick by locking up Cary for 15 year, if she does not change her mind. In the end of episode, everything results in Alicia approaching Mr. Gold for her future campaign.
The only thing I lack while watching is what happened to Lockhart/Gardner/Canning, are not they suing Diane or something? Do they even know that she went to Florrick/Agos? Is there anything they'll do because she stole hell lot of clients?
But anyways, Dear God was a really great episode. Because of some important news we learned here and because it keeps on being the most tense, impressive and surprising show running right now.
Modern Family: Don't Push (2014)
'Don't Push' is just another episode, without laughs
In Don't Push the Dunphys go to Caltech university for Alex's future admission, while Gloria and Jay are trying to get perfect presents for their anniversary and Pritchett-Tucker family is taking a family photo. And they all have some trouble.
Alex is determined to go to MIT, because Caltech is too close to home and she's willing to be as far as possible for more independence, finally. Regardless, she attends open house day with her family, which tries to be supportive in the biggest decision she's going to make. Phil, Haley and Luke decide to participate in an experiment, promising to reward participants with fifty dollars. They are left in a room with red button saying Do Not Push (pictured above). As they think this is part of the experiment, they seek for solution and the process of doing so brings number of family problems to the surface.
Meanwhile, Alex meets some nerdy guy and changes her mind about MIT, understanding that it's not that bad to be around family.
Jay sculptures a bunny for Gloria as a reminder of their first date. But she thinks that her favorite bracelet is hidden inside so breaks the present right in front of husband.
Lily is troubling her parents while taking a family photo. She gives that awkward, forced smile and of course, Cameron and Mitchell are panicking. After number of photo sessions, they finally get that their daughter is quite determined about her smile. Don't Push was not laugh-out-loud episode. There were definitely some good jokes but nothing Modern Family-ish. I liked Alex's scenes, especially with her new boyfriend. They had some witty chats and good humor. The rest of Dunphys was not as good as used to be. I found the experiment scene a little boring, kind of.
I've said before, I like Lily's lines and she always nails those two words in every episode. Here she is becoming a troubling little girl who tries to out stand with weird smiles and laughs. She making fun of Cameron's face was the best thing in this episode.
This episode while being a well told sweet story, it fails to deliver what's the most valuable thing about Modern Family - fun, jokes and emotions. Gloria had a good scene, but it did not turn into something hilarious. I don't want to think that the writers have a creative crises and I really hope that will be the worst episode of this season, cause I know they can do it better.
I wished they did write more for younger characters, because they have potential and they need some good, huge lines.
The Good Wife: Trust Issues (2014)
Diane Says Goodbye
After this season kicked off with Cary Agos drug trial, nothing is ordinary in The Good Wife. We all are following SA hunting down him, Lemond Bishop and maybe someone else? Someone we never thought of to be targeted in this war.
The previous episode ending by paying Cary's bail fee and ASA asking for sources of these payment boils down to another hearing in this episode, that leads to subpoenaing Alicia. It seems, that ASA is trying to bring Mr. Bishop to court and ask him about his business under oath.
The same time, Florrick/Agos is facing number of client trials, one including their biggest client ChumHum. This particular class action was led by Cary and now Alicia has to take it over, while dealing with Eli still trying to ensure her to run. Alicia does not look like to be wanting to run, she's determined and absolutely sure that politics is no place for her. But then, there is a small line and scene in elevator, that makes me think that she might start considering to agree with Eli, because she smiles when realizing that polls are in her favor and people love her.
One of the good parts of this episode was Lorraine Joy back, the woman who interviewed Alicia and turned her candidacy down to hire. And now, she standing on the other side of Mrs Florrick, truly regrets it:
-"I should've hired you. You're an assassin." -"Your mistake."
Kalinda is doing her best to save Cary, interviewing Bishop's three key people, attending the meeting with Agos and she figures out who the wired person was. However, Lemond, takes care of it in his own ways and it does not end well.
Taye Diggs joins the show and Florrick/Agos/Lockhart in this episode as Dean Levine-Wilkins, with number of other key people from Lockhart/Gardner/Canning. It is going BIG, people.
But I think, Trust Issues was more about Diane, because she leaving the firm in the end of episode, was just classy, glamorous and very well thought scene. And taking all this people, others without even noticing it, just will blew your mind.
Even though I found it hard to decide if Trust Issues was better episode than The Line, I still consider that there are some improvements here and it was more tense and just because of mind-blowing end with Diane Lockhart, it was slightly better afterall. So, what do you think?
The Maze Runner (2014)
If only it had more of Dylan's abs
I was lucky enough to get early screening of one of my most anticipated films this year. Well, here it it and I've seen all I needed.
The Maze Runner is adaptation of James Dashner's post apocalyptic bestseller about youngsters, who are imprisoned inside the mysterious maze and their struggle of living together, while trying to escape this nightmare. Movie opens with Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) waking up in the cage, that moves pretty fast upwards, right into iron doors. He is confused, he remembers nothing and does not understand how he got in here. When the cage reaches top, it suddenly stops and then he sees a very bright light and some young boys staring at him. Now, he is even more confused.
If you are not a book reader, like me, you can be also confused, even though trailer told most of it. But not that much to lose interest how it goes. Because, you know, most of movie in this genre are well predictable stories, just with actors who we are delighted to see on a big screen and some sentiments also. As the plot starts to open up, Thomas starts remembering some small details, it get more interesting. Later, The Maze Runner also suggest whole load of action, chasing and good fantasy. Without going into the deep of story, it has pretty much predictable ending. I've never read the book, but I was absolutely sure where it would go. But here, let me explain things I liked.
First of all, it's entertaining. Whatever we say, how stupid and "yeah-I've-seen-this-before" type movie it is, TMR makes us have fun, from Dylan O'Brien's abs (still, too much shirts) to well shot action scenes. There is nothing outrageously illogical, or stupid in this film, it just follows some well known plots of Animal Farm (George Orwell) and Cube. First is similar because it shows how people behave when they are locked up on their own, how they need to have a leader and other psychological. But film does not go too deep into Orwell's issues. It reminded me Cube because of idea, that there are some people out there who lock up absolute strangers in dangerous environment and then "watch" them suffering. Maybe the idea here is a little different, but the 90's classic still kept popping out in my mind.
I liked the cast. Leaving alone my favorite Dylan, who I'll talk about later, it was nice to see some recognizable faces like Thomas Brodie-Sangster of Game of Thrones, Will Poulter of We're the Millers and Narnia. Both were definitely good and especially Poulter who played an conservative leader who more focused on staying there alive than going out of the maze. He had some good moments of anger and his eyebrows perfectly coped with it.
Technically, movie was well done and paced. It kept motion and action all the time, especially in the second half of film. The Maze scenes were well shot, with some massive production design. Editing worked for me too, it's not masterful, but good enough to enjoy the almost two hour movie.
What I did not get is the aliens, these boys were hiding from. In fact, they were robots, but hell looked like intruders from Alien. But in post apocalyptic world, everything is possible.
Dylan O'Brien is good in here. He has not done anything other actor of the same appearance would not have done, but he was good. Right in the character. Basically, he was the reason I could not wait for the Maze Runner and as long as I had enough of him, I'm satisfied.
All in all, The Maze Runner is good "let's go, see and forget" movie, that fails to deliver something very important or new, but definitely keeps you interested in future installments.
Modern Family: The Long Honeymoon (2014)
This episode is a reminder of your favorite characters and good humor, all you love about Modern Family
You might read spoilers here
5 times Emmy winner Modern Family starts new season with episode The Long Honeymoon, taking place after three month from The Wedding. Pritchett-Tuckers are back from their honeymoon, Dunphys are enjoying their summer, without Alex and Delgado-Pritchetts are, the same loving couple.
From the very beginning we feel like something has changed about these families. It's not a really good start to remembering your favorite characters. Cameron has become even more sensitive, trying to prolong their honeymoon and making lots of presents to Mitchell: flowers, balloons and some random romantic stuff, while Mitchell, himself, is trying to get back the way it was before wedding. Gloria and Jay still are having minor disagreements about Jay's appearance, how he does not care anymore about his outfits, which drives Mrs Delgado-Pritchett crazy. And Dunphy's, they are having a marvelous, quiet, sweet, comfortable summer - giving each other compliments, making each other laugh and having peaceful dinners, while Alex is away doing some volunteer stuff. And you know?! This feels kinda wrong. But, sooner or later everything goes back to "normal" when Alex is home. Dunphys become the same chaotic family they were before "fire- starters, fighters, poison eaters". So, episode has a happy ending. And I loved it.
The reason I loved premiere so much is that it genuinely made me laugh. Gloria going out with Jay in a messy makeup to teach him a lesson made me laugh out loud, or Haley having more than 50,000 blog subscribers because, as it turns out, her camera was never off, even when Claire/Phil stripped in front of it made me cry laughing. This episode had just everything I love about Modern Family - some random misfit story, their special sense of humor and those loving characters.
Most of all, I enjoyed Sofia Vergara's performance. Here she's not that glamorous woman, but she's just a loving wife and she has some small hilarious moments, just like in the end, when she meets her surprise.
I always liked small lines of Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily). Even though she speaks only few words in this episode, I really remembered her performance. But Eric Stonestreet, as always, is heartbreakingly sweet, funny, fluffy, cute, loving and Cameronish.
So, I believe it's a good start for probably a very amazing season. Fingers crossed.
Don't watch it on your honeymoon, because it really scares
A newlywed couple Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) drive to lake house for their honeymoon to spend some time alone. The place meets all creepy requirements the houses in horror movies have: skinned bear hanging on the wall, no sign of life, woods around it and silence.
Paul and Bea are madly in love, kind of hipsterish couple, without much money, but huge feelings towards each other. They are the people who can find happiness in every detail. In the very first scenes, we see their wedding videos, explaining how and why they got married, recorded in the tent, somewhere. Director and writer Leigh Janiak tries to make them one of those young couples that we meet in the streets, bars or anywhere. But soon, everything changes after Bea starts sleepwalking in the woods and Paul believes that something really bad happened to her. They suddenly stopped having sex, because she refuses, her mood transformed from happy-go-lucky to maniacal depression. Bea suffered from strange physical transformation neither she nor husband could explain.
Honeymoon features only four actors. The other two are Bea's childhood boyfriend and her creepy wife, who seems a lot troubled woman. The budget is accordingly law, however director Janiak still managed to make the film a lot creepy, just like other films she was inspired, including Aliens and Rosemary's Baby. Even before the "real" action starts, even while newlyweds are just enjoying their lives, many details around seem creepy and spooky. Especially, the scenes on the lake where you think that any minute can be a start of something horrifying.
And after the story begins to develop in expected direction, it becomes something you might not expect. There are no much surprises or twists, to the contrary, the plot is quite predictable. And even though Honeymoon is a quiet film, it's terrifying, because it mostly plays with emotions of main characters or some silent scenes. You know, for genuine horror, it is enough to create an environment that itself scares a viewer without any additional sounds or scary characters, because mind terror is the worst.
I think, just because Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway deliver properly balanced performances, expressing every feeling and emotion of their characters and because director really managed to capture their fears, Honeymoon is quite a good debut film, absolutely worth to check out. It can genuinely make you scared, that is also helped with brilliant scores and impressive cinematography.
Boyhood is definitely an original idea, a good work, but it somehow fails to be just brilliant
Richard Linklater started a project in between the "before" series that most of directors are either incapable, or have no patience to do. He decided to film a life of one family, in particular a member of this family Mason (Ellar Coltrane) through 12 years until his young adulthood. More amazingly, he did not change any of actors, instead filmed different scenes of movie year by year, so that every actor grew old naturally in the film. The concept of Boyhood is similar to Linklater's acknowledged trilogy which also follows a couple through 18 years, visiting them in every 9 years. Here, instead, film is done as a one (damn) long story skipping from year to year and transforming to a later periods quite quickly. Having brought an impressive cast of Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and his own daughter Lorelei Linklater, Richard created an realistic journey with Mason, his sister Samantha and mom.
First, we are introduced to this small family of three, where mother (Arquette) is divorced and still tries to partner with the guy taking care of her children. This unsuccessful attempt results in those three departing to another city to make it work better. The next guy turns out to be tyrant, beating his wife and abusing children. So, this story also has no happy ending. While they are struggling, kids' father and ex-husband of Patricia's character - Ethan Hawke - is living his life, seeing children on weekends and holidays and doing the best of him to be a dad.
Film feels extremely natural, as if you are looking at real life of real people. The fact that actors grow up, get old and progress through one movie and you know that this is not fake, makeup or special effects, just aggravates sense of reality. On the other hand, it sometimes gets as boring as the lives of others (and ours too). Regardless all the good stuff I'm gonna say below, Boyhood sometimes felt a little long (it's 165 minutes) and hard to follow.
Because the plot stays as close to real life as possible, it feels extremely natural, but dialogs sometimes lack wittiness and sharpness - what I mostly love in good screenplays. As mentioned above, film sometimes is not easy to catch up, I even replied some of tweets in the first half. The second one was a lot better and interesting because it mostly focuses on Mason's personal life, his challenges and growing up problems. I found his transition from child to teenager very interesting. But the first half was kind of something I've seen in number of movies. Having said that, I believe movie could have been a little shorter. Now, Boyhood takes its time to settle down and bring all those tiny stories to one scope.
Linklater did a great job in showing us they way we all grew up, things we don't remember or our mind refuses to remember. In the beginning, we all are like passengers, just like Mason, who has to follow adults, mom, dad, older sister. Then we start to grow up and see the world from different point of view - ours and we no longer are wishing to follow others because we already figured out how things work out there.
Boyhood is a good film because of it's amazing cast. Ellan Contrane delivers all touching performances at any age, but especially to the end of the film. Patricia Arquette is also seriously good playing his mother, delivering emotional, devastating performance. The rest of cast, including Hawke is as good as the film itself.
In conclusions, Boyhood is the most original film so far, with very interesting mission and pretty impressive execution. If think that you will see Mason's emotional ups and downs here, you will be disappointed. Instead, it demonstrates very average life of average child. So, get prepared, you sometimes can get too excited or bored. But it is life - any of us could have dealt with it before.
Oscar chances: I'm sure it grabs couple of nominations, including writing and best picture. Not sure yet about directing or supporting actress bid for Arquette, but it is deserving in both categories. However, I doubt it actually wins best picture. It's too experimental and "not important" for that title.