Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: March 7, 2003
8.3
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 49 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
41
Mixed:
5
Negative:
3
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5
StephenS.Nov 10, 2003
Having almost sabotaged her film, Cholodenko redeems herself with two "money shots" carrying genuine emotional impact. That is to say, when the wife and mother of the male lead (Christian Bale) declare their true feelings for him. Having almost sabotaged her film, Cholodenko redeems herself with two "money shots" carrying genuine emotional impact. That is to say, when the wife and mother of the male lead (Christian Bale) declare their true feelings for him. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the concept. A serious young med student gets into all kinds of emotional strife by taking his serious young bride to stay with his embarrassingly louche record-producer mother. Problem one is casting. Frances McDormand is great as mother Jane, a difficult role combining heart, intelligence and lust. Alessandro Nivola coolly plays the cocky Brit pop singer having the affair with her. But how could anyone put Kate Beckinsale up against a trouper like McDormand, especially as Alex, super-brain scrabble player and genetics researcher? When we're still in recovery from Nicole Kidman's weird concept of Virginia Woolf? Problem two is motivation. No sooner arrived at Jane's house, our budding PhD files away her inhibitions and unwraps a remarkably eclectic Laurel Canyon libido. This complete behavioural U-turn is accompanied by scarcely any demonstration that Alex would actually have any such leanings. Then there's the cinematic style, oscillating between Junior Auteur and Sex in the City meets E.R. Finally, there's the finale, where Cholodenko simply closes up shop abruptly. I might buy this kind of anticlimax from someone like John Sayles, but only just. Expand
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6
MarcK.Apr 12, 2003
This film wasn't bad, but nowhere near what I see some of these critics are giving it. Frances McDormand is a favorite of mine, but I fail to see the incredible performance that all these critics have seen. Most interesting performance? This film wasn't bad, but nowhere near what I see some of these critics are giving it. Frances McDormand is a favorite of mine, but I fail to see the incredible performance that all these critics have seen. Most interesting performance? Definitely Natascha McElhone. However, the worst casting is Kate Beckinsale. She is far too hot to be playing a moussy, naive geek. She does a good American accent though. Expand
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6
J.RyanG.Jun 17, 2005
Films shouldn't have to try this hard.
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