While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.
Gael García Bernal,
Growing up in the 1970s on the Isle of Wight, Holly and Marina make a childhood pact to be friends forever. For the troubled, unpredictable Marina, with her seemingly glamorous father and her Valium-addicted mother, Holly stays the only constant in a life of divorcing parents, experimental drugs and fashionable self-destruction. Meanwhile, Holly buries herself in books out of feelings of frustration with her over-protective mother and a nagging insecurity around her beautiful and possessive best friend. She holds just one secret from Marina, her increasing passion for Marina's brother Nat. As the years roll by, the girls experience everything life has to offer, sex, love, loss and rock 'n roll. But eventually for Holly, a friendship which has never been equal gradually begins to feel like a trap.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I'm a middle-aged white man, not a teen chick, and yet I must confess to having felt that this was a fine bit of work from so many POVs- and an entertaining package for their efforts.
Yes, there were times when it was too clear that the actresses were improvising their lines for a scene- but I could forgive it! There were far more instances where the lines were so spontaneously delivered that their candor felt just right, honesty beyond reproach.
The young women were excellent in their craft and sincerity. The screenplay was very believable, intelligent and did not pander- even if it tried too hard to include too much turmoil. The dialogue was delicious.
The direction was tentative in its lack of assurance (some moments that the cast ought to have been reined in rather than indulged) but mostly, the direction shows solid instinct and craft.
Finally, the cinematography is very fine. The framing and tracking show the viewer a smoothly handsome progress of scene and plot - without any trendy or self-conscious technical digression. Thank you, my friend, for your refusal to drown us in camera-shake!
All in all, I feel this was a fine project lovingly rendered by a sincere and generously talented team. As for their slight lack of self-confidence, it leads me to expect greater pleasure from their next work. This lot will not be undone by complacent ennui!
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