Halley Feiffer and Rebecca Henderson - Opening night party for the Atlantic Theater Company production Posterity, held at Moran's restaurant - Arrivals. at Moran's restaurant, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 16th March 2015
With an astute and very funny script, this quirky comedy is packed with entertaining characters and situations that continually catch the audience by surprise. Actor-filmmaker Desiree Akhavan's style is reminiscent of the TV series Girls (a show she has appeared on), as she plays a flawed young woman doing the best to get through her chaotic life in the big city. And there's a clear sense that she knows all to well what she's talking about.
Akhavan plays Shirin, a young woman who feels like life has dealt her a double-whammy: she's bisexual and Persian. Her Iranian parents (Anh Duong and Hooman Majd) prefer to avoid her sexuality, so they never acknowledge the fact that she is still reeling from her breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). And her brother (Arian Moayed) wants her to be quiet about it so he can marry his fiancee (Justine Cotsonas) before the family peace is disrupted. To get on with her life, Shirin rents a room with hipster roommates in Brooklyn and turns to her best friend Crystal (Halley Feiffer) for support. But without a job, her prospects are limited, so she finds some work through a stoner friend (Scott Adsit) and has a go at teaching filmmaking to 5-year-olds.
There isn't much of an actual plot here, just a series of life experiences that push Shirin one way or another. And all of them are hilarious. Intriguingly, the film builds up a sense of narrative momentum in the flashbacks that trace Shirin's relationship with Maxine, most notably the ways it is affecting her life after the breakup. Akhavan's script is packed with bristly dry comedy that's intelligent and surprisingly resonant. Even as the story touches on important issues like coming out to the family, it never feels preachy simply because it's so truthful.
Continue reading: Appropriate Behavior Review
John Ellison Conlee, Mark Blum, Margo Seibert, Darren Goldstein, Michael Cyril Creighton, Stephen Kunken, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Halley Feiffer, Julie Halston, Julie White, Jessica Hecht, Mary Testa, Mary Beth Peil and Sarah Steele - Stars of the 'The First Wives Club' attended a Benefit Reading of the screenplay in New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 14th October 2014
Will (Foster) is just out of military hospital after being injured while serving in Iraq; his relationship with his girlfriend (Malone) is strained, and he's not happy about his new assignment informing families about the deaths of loved ones in the warzone. His mentor for the job is the jaded Tony (Harrelson), who survives by maintaining his distance from the families: "Don't touch the NOK" (next of kin), he tells Will. But Will can't help but reach out to them, and one widow (Morton) makes a particularly strong impression on him.
Continue reading: The Messenger Review
As the titular Margot, Nicole Kidman does the yeoman's share of the work here, as the bitchy and borderline sociopathic older sister who's reluctantly comes up from Manhattan to her sister Pauline's wedding at the ancestral country home, where she's marrying a guy she finds barely even worthy of her contempt. "He's not ugly, he's just completely unattractive," is one of the many evil bon mots that Baumbach gives Kidman to spit out in her seemingly compulsive need to find fault in and drive to despair anyone within eyesight. She makes quite a pair with Jennifer Jason Leigh as Pauline, the two of them strangely beautiful while nestled under stringy and flyaway mouse-brown mops. Kidman's eyes are flashing and penetrating as Leigh's are dreamy, the two of them seemingly not of this planet but in entirely different ways.
Continue reading: Margot at the Wedding Review
Stephanie (Amber Tamblyn) was a good ol' religious girl before the whole rigmarole, spending Sunday morning at church looking after little kids while her parents (Jim Gaffigan and Melissa Leo) make small talk with the priest and other parishners. Being a sweet girl, her heart can't help but go out to the soldier-to-be who she meets at a friend's party. Sure enough, their quickie tryst ends with a bun in the oven and the boy nowhere to be found. Ultimately, Stephanie ends up giving birth on a school ski trip in a public toilet. The premature baby dies, leaving the world stunned and with nothing but questions galore.
Continue reading: Stephanie Daley Review
It's Park Slope, Brooklyn, circa 1986, and the Berkman family is splitting up at the mid-swing of the pendulum of the adults' professional lives. On the downswing is the father, Bernard (Jeff Daniels), a professor and once-celebrated writer. Linney plays the mother, Joan, a blossoming writer coming out from under Bernard's shadow. He's been distant and awful, she's had affairs and been generally resentful, so now Bernard is moving to a falling-down house on the far side of Prospect Park while she gets to keep the gorgeous brownstone. The kids, of course, get screwed, with split custody keeping them in one house for half the week and the other house for the rest. Ensuring that things will stay nice and dysfunctional, the kids choose sides, with teenaged Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) sticking with Bernard and even picking up his mannerisms, while younger Frank (Owen Kline) throws in with Joan.
Continue reading: The Squid and the Whale Review