There’s a lot of really good stuff in Nicole Holofcener’s bittersweet flick Lovely & Amazing. An introspective script. Strong subject matter. Good performances.
There are also many annoying things about the film, particularly the fact that it meanders and doesn’t seem to come to a resolution. That’s sad, because it otherwise has a lot going for it, including yet another fine turn by Catherine Keener as one of three sisters with dealing with the problems of life.
I lost interest, however, after what seemed like the eighth reel. It went on a bit too long and could’ve used more editing, as well as significant tightening.
Still, it has some interest value, and it tackles an issue that’s rarely dealt with sensitively or truthfully: how women view themselves. Kudos to the film for that – you don’t see such subject matter in the theaters often.
What will my next movie be? Let’s see …
There’s a lot of good stuff in The Oranges – so much that I wonder why it got such a low rating on IMDb.
This tale of adultery with your New Jersey neighbor has a pretty tight script, some good direction by Julian Farino and fine casting that results in sparkling turns by the likes of Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat, Catherine Keener and Allison Janney. The plot features some not-so-credible points, and I feel everything wrapped up in an all-too-pat manner, but there’s humor and drama in hefty amounts along the way, plus sensitive treatment of a familiar subject.
And no, I didn’t turn it off halfway through. That’s something in itself.
OK, it’s not a great film. I don’t think it tries to be, though. Surprisingly, it’s quite unpretentious; I think that’s partly why I enjoyed much of it.
Director Farino has done a lot of TV work in the past. Perhaps that’s one reason why it felt so crisp. Maybe the ending was a little TV-esque, too, but there’s potential here.
You know a movie about classical music’s in trouble when you want to turn it off to listen to the tunes.
I felt that way about A Late Quartet, Yaron Zilberman’s should’ve-been-good film about the trials and tribulations of a long-standing string ensemble. Not that the actors, who included Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener, weren’t up to the task; they were. It’s just that the script was really a problem. It broadcast like Chamber Music 101, with all-too-much expository material taking up some of the scenes, which often attempted to convey how quartets work, the roles of the performers, etc.
So in other words, viewers of the movie aren’t coming in to a conflict that’s already happening. They’re just at the introductory stages, and that was a problem for me … especially considering the fact that this ensemble was supposed to have been together for about 25 years. The credibility of the screenplay was further strained by the actions of Hoffman’s character, who suddenly wants to play first violin. That seemed strange to me; members of great ensembles should be comfortable with their roles — they work as a team, after all — and the idea that he now wants to shift to a more lead-type role after playing together for so long seemed off.
I always liked Hoffman as an actor, and this issue wasn’t his fault. Indeed, the actors tried their hardest. It’s just that the script seemed simplistic, and a movie about Beethoven’s quartets shouldn’t be. A film such as Un Coeur en Hiver treated the conflicts of musicians much more adroitly while including brilliant music (in that case, Ravel). In A Late Quartet, the music seemed to play second fiddle to the issues of the characters, and they weren’t interesting enough to warrant that.
If only they had the definition of a Beethoven quartet. If only.