Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: From all outward appearances, Pippa Lee leads a charmed existence. She is the devoted wife of an accomplished publisher thirty years her senior, the proud mother of two grown children, and a trusted friend and confidant to all who cross her path. But as Pippa dutifully follows her husband to a new life in a staid Connecticut retirement community, her idyllic world and the persona she has built over the course of her marriage will be put to the ultimate test. In truth, looks are deceiving, and this picture-perfect woman has seen more than her fair share of turmoil in her youth. Embarking on a bittersweet journey of self-discovery, accompanied by a new, strange and soulful acquaintance, Pippa must now confront both her volatile past and the hidden resentment of her seemingly perfect life in order to find her true sense of self. By turns wry, humorous, and moving, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee presents the complex portrait of the many lives behind a single name. (Screen Media Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 83
    Flashes of dark humor and steady, grounded performances make it a welcome return for Miller, making her first film since 2005's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose."
  2. 75
    Miller never really fleshes out all of these colorful characters in her emotionally facile script, leaving the heavy lifting to the actors. Fortunately for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Wright is more than up to the challenge.
  3. Rebecca Miller’s fourth film is a wry, acutely observant drama.
  4. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Feels as schizophrenic as its eponymous heroine.
  5. The mix is Lifetime soap–meets–Woody Allen smart-set comedy, with less humor and a genteel Connecticut setting.
  6. By turns antic, frantic, and dull, "Pippa Lee" is unconvincing – emotionally, dramatically, filmically.
  7. These actors know how to liven up a room, yet here they're forced to perform in Miller's Theater for the Overwritten.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 27, 2013
    This film is certainly one of the strongest of 2009. For a frame of reference, the others were Fish Tank, A Single Man, Port of Call New Orleans: Bad Lieutenant and Watchmen.

    Well done all actors here and even more so to Rebecca Miller for pulling it off with such aplomb. A movie with flashbacks that are never of the tedious, by-rote type of so many films, the structure is surprising in a very good way. Of the actors, only Zoe Kazan, daughter of Communist witchhunt namer of names, Elia Kazan, is unconvincing. Everyone else here is nigh-on perfect including Keanu Reeves who gives a lovely, understated performance while endearingly retaining certain of his acting 'tics'. If any reader of this appreciates any films in the following list, then this one will go down well too: The Secret Life of Words, the Visitor, A Single Man, Welcome to the Riley's or the Kids are All Right. There are no guns, explosions, violent twists in plot, and it doesn't rely on suspense. Nothing here is so unsubtle, but then neither is this a 'women's movie' (like Steel Magnolia's or films along those lines) or an arthouse movie. The characters are sensitively drawn and expressive while the structure of the film makes is constantly interesting.
  2. Lyn
    Jul 10, 2011
    I'm a big fan of Robin Wright, whose work on screen never seems anything less than real. I thought that excellent acting by her -- and others in the cast -- elevated it above the rather disjointed melodrama it could have been. I also thought the casting was very good; Blake Lively really looked like a plausible younger version of Wright, for example. Expand
  3. EggyG.
    Feb 15, 2010
    Has some great moment....but the plot was just too slow and scattered. Solid performance from 'naturally old' Robin Wright though.