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Overall Rating
3.96

Awesome: 32.14%
Worth A Look39.29%
Average: 21.43%
Pretty Bad: 7.14%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 10 user ratings


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Laurel Canyon
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Traveling the middleground."
3 stars

Low-key, multiple character study from director Lisa Cholodenko (High Art).

An engaged couple go to live in the hubbyís motherís 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 ó he, another doctor whom he almost tangoed bumpers with, and she, who has double the pressure from the motherís boyfriend/singer as well as the mother. Cholodenko takes a backseat and doesnít, 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; itís 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.]

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7141&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/20/04 07:41:13
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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.

User Comments

11/13/08 helas Mostly rich, stuck-up people with boundary issues. 4 stars
1/24/05 Phil M. Aficionado B. McKay's review says it all. Thanks for saving me the trouble, Brian. 4 stars
11/03/04 tommy marlar great film,loved it and i'm not even much of a movie person 4 stars
5/10/04 Ben Tacker Has Frances McDormand ever made a bad movie? Laurel Canyon is no exception. 4 stars
8/13/03 jean think this film is a litmus test, you get it or you don't 5 stars
5/27/03 SUSAN I LOVED IT, IT WAS PERFECTION, STILL TALKING ABOUT IT... 5 stars
5/12/03 skye my kinda stuff, too, but not a good flick. poor dialogue, boring, predictable characters. h 2 stars
5/03/03 john my kinda stuff 5 stars
3/31/03 Albie Good flick. Beckinsale is breathtaking. 4 stars
3/30/03 Suzz Frances if fine; film is little but soft-core sleaze. Sorry I validated it with my $/time 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-Mar-2003 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  30-Oct-2003




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