To Jenny's family, she's always been somewhat of a loner. Even though she's the oldest sibling, as far as they're aware she still lives a bachelorette lifestyle with her roommate in the city.
When Jenny returns home for the christening of the newest member of their family, it doesn't take her mother and father long to start the usual 'when are you going to find a man and settle down' lecture. Finally caving to their questioning, Jenny lets slip that she is in a relationship and that this partner might just be the one that she's ready to settle down with. What all Jenny's family don't know is that her partner is actually her current roommate Kitty.
After years of living together and being open about their relationship with their city friends, Jenny comes out to her parents and announces her wish to marry the love of her life. Having lived a sheltered existence, this comes as a huge shock to Eddie and Rose and neither know how to take the news - asking Jenny to keep her partner a secret. As time passes and the lie becomes unmanagable, the Farrell family find themselves being pulled apart. To find a way to keep their family together, each must face facts and find a way to adapt to make a future together.
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Manhattan book critic Wendy is forced to adjust to a dramatic life change when her husband leaves her for a younger woman, and sets out to reclaim her independence. The problem is, having lived in the Big Apple all her life, she has never learned to drive. So the fiery writer decides to take lessons from Darwan, a softly spoken, patient taxi driver from India who is about to embark on an arranged marriage. As the pair get to know each other behind the wheel, they both learn valuable lessons, and an unlikely friendship develops between these two very different New Yorkers. It's a friendship that will change their lives for ever.
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Strong characters and a vivid sense of life in frontier America give this film a kick of authentic energy that makes it a gripping journey. While it may be a little too serious for its own good, the movie is strikingly shot and played to bring out the gritty tenacity of people who dare to live in such a foreboding place. And a couple of shocking twists in the tale keep us on our toes.
In the Nebraska Territory in 1853, life was so difficult that three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto and Sonja Richter) in a small community are driven mad by the isolation, desperation and harsh weather. Their husbands are too busy surviving to do anything about it, so the local pastor (John Lithgow) arranges for the strong-willed spinster farmer Mary Bee (Hilary Swank) to escort them back east to civilisation. She needs a "homesman" to help make the arduous five-week journey, so she drafts in drunken scoundrel George (Tommy Lee Jones). During their long trek across the plains, they have a series of potentially life-threatening encounters with the likes of well-armed Native Americans, an interfering opportunist (Tim Blake Nelson) and a cruelly dismissive hotel owner (James Spader).
The characters are strikingly feisty, starting with Swank's fiercely no-nonsense, self-sufficient Mary Bee, who one local observes is as good as any man around. She's also rather annoyingly holier-than-thou, which explains why she's has so much trouble finding a husband to help her. And these three women really push her to the breaking point: Gummer's Bella is consumed by grief, Otto's Theoline moans day and night, and Richter's Gro is a delusional menace. So it's a good thing that Jones provides some comic relief as the rapscallion George, a snarky realist who's the only likeable person on-screen.He also emerges along the way as the true protagonist of the tale.
Continue reading: The Homesman Review
The stars of 'The Giver' were snapped on the red carpet at the New York premiere of the movie at the Zeigfeld Theater. They were Meryl Streep with her daughter Grace Gummer, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush and Cameron Monaghan.
George Briggs is a claim jumper who has only ever known a dishonest life. When he finds himself in serious trouble (sat astride an impatient horse with his hands bound behind his back and a noose around his neck tied to a branch), he starts to think this could finally be the end for him. That is until he is found by a lone woman with a wagon named Mary Bee Cuddy who agrees to free him from his plight in exchange for a favour. Living alone, she is struggling to carry out an important personal mission; she wants to take three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa now that their husbands can now longer cope with them. Thus, she asks Briggs to help her on the dangerous five week journey and, despite his serious reservations, he agrees to act as her aide and protector against the brutalities they may face along the way.
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This film may look like one of those annoyingly mannered independent films, with its wacky young cast and arty-farty black and white photography, but it's actually a fresh, smart and very funny comedy. It also features one of the most honest female characters in recent memory: Frances is a true original who is awash in optimism as she tries to navigate the obstacles in her life.
Gerwig has made a career of playing quirky goofballs (see Damsels in Distress), and Frances is definitely offbeat. But she's also likeable and real. She lives in New York with her best pal Sophie (Sumner). But their close bond is strained when Frances' romance with her boyfriend (Esper) collapses while Sophie moves forward with her partner Patch (Heusinger). Now Frances needs to find a new place to live, so she moves in with Lev and Benji (Driver and Zegen). She's also pushing her dance company director (d'Amboise) for more work. While everyone around her is growing up and building their lives, she seems to be going backwards. But she never lets that get her down.
Frances is such an engaging character that we can't help but fall for her. Her relentlessly positive approach to life may seem corny, but she also insists on achieving her goals on her own terms. This may make her progress more difficult, such as when she takes a humiliating job at her old university, but at least she has her integrity. Sort of. Meanwhile the film is punctuated with moments of hilarious slapstick, sarcasm and relationships that ring sometimes painfully true. And at the centre is her strained but unshakable bond with Sophie.
Continue reading: Frances Ha Review
Frances Handley is a 27-year-old aspiring modern dancer and an apprentice for a dance company, though she has no real talent in the art. She lives in an apartment in New York with her best friend Sophie who is smarter and much more mature with an ambition in publishing. As time goes on, their bond begins to weaken as their lives take different courses and their personalities take different courses. Sophie wants to move out with another friend of hers leaving Frances to work out her own life and take care of herself for once in her life. Will this pair be separated forever by romance, ambition and growing older, or will they find it in themselves to reconcile?
'Frances Ha' is a black and white comedy drama with many similar qualities to a rom com, except platonic. It has been directed by Noah Baumbach ('The Squid and the Whale', 'Greenberg') who also co-wrote the screenplay with the movie's star Greta Gerwig ('Hannah Takes the Stairs', 'Nights and Weekends'). It looks at love in a way that is rarely explored in movies these days and has so far received immense reviews since its premiere at Toronto Film Festival. It is set to hit screens on July 26th 2013.
Release date 26th July 2013
Continue: Frances Ha Trailer
To Jenny's family, she's always been somewhat of a loner. Even though she's the oldest...
Manhattan book critic Wendy is forced to adjust to a dramatic life change when her...
Strong characters and a vivid sense of life in frontier America give this film a...
George Briggs is a claim jumper who has only ever known a dishonest life. When...
This film may look like one of those annoyingly mannered independent films, with its wacky...