Low-key, multiple character study from director Lisa Cholodenko (High Art).An engaged couple go to live in the hubby’s mother’s Laurel Canyon home, where he can work on his residency and she can finish her degree, only to find that the aging free-spirit needs to be there at the same time to finish producing an overdue album. Both are enticed by new possibilities — he, another doctor whom he almost tangoed bumpers with, and she, who has double the pressure from the mother’s boyfriend/singer as well as the mother. Cholodenko takes a backseat and doesn’t, at least during most times, pass judgments on the characters, though she is quick to have the characters pass judgments on each other. Often the complacent attitude of the filmmaker can be a breath of fresh air, but the first step is to have characters who warrant such observation. The wander, ambivalence, and insouciance played out on screen reflects back to the writing and direction as well; it’s sufficient and composed, but without anything special about it. It flows, and so you go along with it. And as it travels along the middle of the road, you let it stay on autopilot while taking a backseat yourself. With Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Frances McDormand and Alessandro Nivola.[See it if you must.]
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.