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Unhook the Stars (1996)

Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home, she finds that, for the first time in her life, she has ... See full summary »

Director:

Nick Cassavetes
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gena Rowlands ... Mildred
Marisa Tomei ... Monica
Gérard Depardieu ... Big Tommy (as Gerard Depardieu)
Jake Lloyd ... J.J.
Moira Kelly ... Ann Mary Margaret
David Sherrill ... Ethan
David Thornton ... Frankie
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras ... Jeannie (as Bridgette Wilson)
Bobby Cooper ... Bernt
Clint Howard ... Gus
David Rowlands David Rowlands ... George (as Dave Rowlands)
Jamie Bozian ... Jason (as James Bozian)
Christy Lenk Christy Lenk ... Miss Mannis
Brittney Lewis Brittney Lewis ... Hospital Receptionist
Vinnie Curto Vinnie Curto ... Danny (as Vinny Curto)
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Storyline

Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home, she finds that, for the first time in her life, she has nobody to worry about - but soon becomes involved in the life of Monica, a young mother whose husband has left her to look after her young son J.J.. As the relationship blossoms, Monica teaches Mildred that there is more to life than taking care of others. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When prim & proper meets wild & crazy get ready to ...

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csillagot az égről See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,258, 3 November 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$234,843, 23 February 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gena Rowlands' brother and director Nick Cassavetes' uncle, David Rowlands, makes an appearance as Millie's neighbor George. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mildred: [delivering morning newspapers] For the last time... Really the last time...
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Soundtracks

Create or Destroy
Written by Xan, Steven Hufsteter, Kelly Lemieux, Stephen Klong
Performed by Shrine
Courtesy of Malicious Vinyl
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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Emotionally Arousing Movies I've Ever Seen
9 April 2007 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Marisa Tomei has always been one of my favorite actresses. She has a very individual, very strong, not to mention incredibly hot, presence and is one of the major scene thieves of our time. She is by far the best thing about My Cousin Vinny, which would hardly be even close to being as worthwhile without her. She is the only reason to watch Just A Kiss. She is wonderful in Happy Accidents and In the Bedroom. In Unhook the Stars, she is a joy to see, not just for her presence and ability to intrigue even inaminate objects but also for the freedom-emblazoned attitude she fleshes out in her character. She is not at all subtle, but she is a realistically subtle contrast to Gene Rowlands, who plays opposite her. However, in this film, Gena Rowlands serves to be the first person I've ever seen who's stolen any scene from the likes of Marisa Tomei. Tomei's earliest scenes are brilliantly fiery, both hilarious and alarming, one of these great instances involving dialogue with other characters while she is in another room cursing and raving into the phone incidentally during the natural pauses in between the other characters' exchanges. But gradually, Rowlands earns our focus a bit more, because I've hardly felt more deeply for many other characters in many other movies.

Gena Rowlands plays a mother on the latter end of middle age whose daughter gives her great disrespect and constantly runs off, leaving her to do her paper route. She has a highly serious and successful son who lives for admiration and objectifies his wife. Rowlands is lonely, riding the gentle winds through the motions of life at home. When Tomei, grungy, aggressive young mother, asks her to babysit her young son while she's at work, a new and beautiful relationship emerges into Rowlands's life, giving her great happiness and fulfillment, but the natural interferences and oncoming decisions of life seem to taper it. The scenes with her and the young boy are so touching and full of emotion. I won't explain further into her character or the story that is driven by her, but I will say that what she is is a touching, very very deeply felt characterization of a common, lonely mother of great selflessness, surrounded by the self-absorption of the people she cares the most for. And you will be surprised at how much you care for such overlooked people, people who rarely come to be the lead character in a movie.

Though Nick Cassavettes doesn't quite have the intensity or fluently original technique that his father, John Cassavettes, had, he does carry on in the Cassavettes tradition of plain and direct interpretations of reality. His film is about loneliness, and about the sort of person who takes so little from us in return for so much that she gives, and how she is prompted to live.


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