Amazon Holiday

Monday, April 27, 2009


(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Set during the late 70s, a fifteen-year-old boy grapples with first love while dealing with a chaotic home life involving his constantly quarreling parents.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, Jill Hennessy, Kieran Culkin, Cynthia Nixon

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. This is a paint-by-numbers ‘indie’ developed through the Sundance Institute which helps explain its pedigree both in front of and behind the cameras (e.g. Martin Scorsese is a producer on it). You’ve seen variations on it before many times, and since this film is dated, I'm going to allow myself to use a dated joke: I liked this movie the first time I saw it, when it was called The Ice Storm.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: The other reviewers make it sound like a yuck-fest from beginning to end-- don’t believe them! It's not a comedy, which isn't to say that you won't chuckle here and there-- if you’re paying attention.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Only if you’re intimate with the horror that is lyme disease.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Coming out in April…? Despite fine performances, I would guess that the distributors of this film have written off major award consideration.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: It’s a terrific cast and they all give terrific performances. Rory Culkin is in just about every scene – it’s very much his film – and his angular, oddly handsome face perfectly expresses the confusion, anger and bemusement of a 15 year-old boy going through major life-changes. The revelation is Emma Roberts (Julia’s niece) as the precocious love object of Rory’s affections. She goes from sexy to vulnerable – and everything in between – within the heartbeat of a single scene (multiple times) breaking down every stereotype of a 16 year-old teenager that ever existed. The adults are all good too – even Timothy Hutton in a pointless and thankless supporting role.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Apparently this is a pretty low-budget film, but it looks really good – getting the Long Island setting period detail (late 70s) just right. The film is small and intimate, and the direction is given over to letting the performances shine and in that regard it’s more than competent. The tone is also consistent but it’s not as ‘quirky funny’ as the filmmakers probably think it is.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: So about a half-hour into this you start to realize there’s no plot and maybe – unlike myself – you are fine with that because you rarely expect indie films to have plots because supposedly a plot would not make it very ‘indie.’ I miss having plots when they aren’t there regardless of what kind of movie it is. This movie would have been better with a plot, but as ‘coming-of-age’/'slice-of-life’ films go, it’s fine and will most likely hold your interest thanks to Rory Culkin and Emma Robert’s performances.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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