Movies about/starring women. I originally started this list just as a reference for myself, but hopefully others will find it…
In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives in the apartment the couple owns.
Now this was an odd one. On the one hand the movie never really goes anywhere and if the ending is meant to be making any kind of statement then it's a pretty horrid one. (I prefer to think that the end was just where the scriptwriter decided to finish, rather than making a deliberate statement.) On the other hand, there are some very well developed characters who interact in a way which is interesting. The movie mainly revolves around the characters rather than the story.
That said, the story is something like this. Catherine Keener's character, along with her husband, make a pretty large amount of money out of selling furniture. The way they make their money is by…
Nice ordinary characters, but it never really reaches any higher than just "nice".
The script was solid, the themes that were touched on were interesting, the performances were very good and I loved the grandmother. For some unknown reason, I wasn't a fan. It is not the kind of film you can hate or dislike; it is more the kind of film that leaves you exactly as you were before seeing it. It was engaging, but perhaps what it lacked for me was a connection; something to make me feel something--anything. I watched it go by and recognized the funny scenes but not enough to laugh or even chuckle. I recognized the tension created by Platt's affair but didn't care one way or another if he got found out. It's not too often I get to say this, but it was engaging throughout without connecting with me in the slightest. Very odd.
I don't see them as breasts, I see them as... tubes of potential danger.
Please Give is another breezy slice of life from Nicole Holofcener. Her wit shines through very nuanced performances in this meditation on aging and guilt. Catherine Keener is outstanding. I love the way that her psychology is revealed slowly throughout the film. At first we think she's totally ignorant, then understand she's kindheartedly misinterpreting, and then finally we get to the core of the guilty paranoia that drives her behavior. Rebecca Hall also gives an incredibly vulnerable and empathetic performance, she really shines in this role. Every single character has…
A nice enough film, with some fine performances, particularly from Rebecca Hall and Catherine Keener. There are a few very good scenes. I'm not sure there's anything special about it, unless you're a particular fan of any of the stars (as I am of Hall and Oliver Platt). It's a perfectly good independent drama with some funny bits, worth a watch if you like that kind of thing, but...well, that's about it. Sorry. Not much of a review, is it?
This is an insufferable film. These characters are so awful that not even this strong cast can make any of them even slightly tolerable. The opening sequence is absurdly terrible and the film's ending truly took me by surprise in the ways it manages to turn an already abysmal film into something even worse. These vacuous, self-centered upper class assholes are only capable of human kindness when being crushed by guilt and the film celebrates their shallow minds. The contemptuous Please Give was my first experience with Nicole Holofcener and it will most likely be my last.
This is the first Holofcener film I've seen that directly engages with the privilege of its characters, and not only does this give Please Give its own complex and interesting moral drama - it also retroactively sets straight my worries about Enough Said and Lovely & Amazing (man these titles are kind of awful).
p.s. Catherine Keener is perfect at awkward white guilt
A nice little film from Holofcener dealing with various intersections of upper-middle class-based guilt and material obsession, but in a way that doesn't really force any of those issues (antique shop, facial treatments, designer jeans, helping out the homeless).
A couple earn their living selling second furniture, whilst waiting for the cantankerous elderly lady next door to die so that they can buy her flat. Guilt results.
First film I've seen by Nicole Holofcener and it was good, not great but good. All the characters are very likeable and performances are at a good standard. The script is strong, the plot was solid and all in all it's a movie that's impossible to dislike but not a movie you could ever love.
So close and yet so far from Nicole H, the queen of the video store. At it's best she pulls the best performance of her career so far out of Rebecca Hall, and Keener continues her best work for her most frequent director, but at the worst times of the movie it comes off as one of the lesser Woody Allens.
As always, she still has something to say about the idea of humanism versus modernism, the question of how someone with this much guilt over their social position can live in this modern world. Her script is witty, and observational, intelligent and thoughtful which is trademark for one of the most underrated of all the video store generation.
"you know they have, like, twelve children"
"nobody told them to do that"
The ratio of caustic, neurotic urbanite whiners to normal people with whom I could actually see myself engaging in conversation without wanting to strangle them is uncharacteristically low in Nicole Holofcener's latest, which is probably why I enjoyed this film much more than some of her previous ones.
"Please Give" suggests that frequently those most in need of our generosity are those who are closest to us. That theme is most vividly illustrated in the character played by Catherine Keener, a poster child for affluent white liberal guilt, who wants to help others in need but feels far too badly for them to ever end up doing any good (she's kicked out of volunteer jobs for being a Debbie Downer).…
Un film agréable, peut-être un peu éparpillé, mais sans que ça ne joue contre le résultat. On traverse le quotidien de divers personnages, tous campés par des acteurs que j'aime bien (Catherine Keener, Rebecca Hall, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet) et on parvient à y découvrir une émotion prenante jouant avec les effets de la routine tout en visant la réalité plutôt que le spectaculaire. Le revisionnement est tout aussi plaisant.
Probably the least appealing of the Holofceners I've seen. Not quite sure what it's going for, but it didn't come together for me at all. Still love her female-centric, small-scale approach, but here the upper/upper-middle class stuff feels like it's from a different world.
Not on Letterboxd:
218. "Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen-MUST WATCH END!!"
Complete list. :-(