Was expecting more from this movie, based on the excellent reviews, but it never really delivered. The sub-plot involving Taylor's character is pointless, and despite Langella's performance, even the main story line falls a little flat.
Despite some other reviewers' insistence that this film has much to say about aging, relationships, etc, I found it conventional at best. It doesn't say anything that hasn't been said before in better films.
A nice story.
When brash, ambitious Brown University graduate student Heather Wolfe approaches the aging and ailing, one-time celebrated author Leonard Schiller with a request for access to his thoughts and recollections for the Master's thesis she hopes will reintroduce the public to his work, he initially refuses to cooperate.
But the young woman is relentless, and he finally agrees to weekly meetings in which he slowly begins to open up to her as he reluctantly recalls his past.
In retrospect, Schiller knew that her thesis would never reintroduce the public to his work.
He simply accepts her request in the sense that everybody should compromise and sacrifice his or her own desires in order to accommodate the demands of others.
A beautiful film and compelling story. Frank Langella is always good, but this surely is his best role and finest performance.
So fine! Refined. Very impeccable. Reminds me of The Hours by Stephen Daldry from Michael Cunningham’s novel and screenplay (w/David Hare). Probably beautiful book becoming an exquisite film.---------Andrew Wagner directing (from his and Fred Parnes’ screenplay) is something rare in pop (film)—quality not dumbed down. Gem of an Indy, this is very good work from a very good book (I haven’t read it). Add very good acting et al, and you get ‘very good’. I’d say great, but that’s so hoary and ‘pop’. Real work, here. --------–One of the best commentary’s, too—Wagner write-speaks—a real gentleman. ‘Smart’ is more fun and better all around. Finally.------—Real sense of beauty in the writing. No cliches, movie ‘arcs’, or ‘story’ fodder. As McLuhan and Mountain Men said, “the process is the message, stupid”. Paraphrasing Wagner, we let the characters alone to find their way but we didn’t let them fall into the ruts; definitely not (!). This was never going to be a May/December romance”.----------–They filmed in 18 days, $250,000—”we let the urgency make us confident in out choices (not the other way round)”. Very much like The Hours—you don’t need to say, eg “the acting is good”. You don’t need to say anything; just be inspired, changed. Change doesn’t happen in time, so that’s where you will be.
This movie was well reviewed, but I do not know what film the reviewers were watching. It was a bad story that was poorly written. The acting was decent, but I could care less about the characters. The relationship depicted in the movie seemed contrived and just weird and not in a good way. I am not sure what the purpose of this film was, but it was not to entertain. This film was a waste of time.
I found this documentary disturbing to watch.
A beautiful, touching film about an elderly, forgotten novelist who allows a persistent young woman conduct interviews with him for her Master's thesis, which she hopes will help revive his reputation. In the process the two develop a strong bond, based heavily on their similar feelings about art and writing. Frank Langella is superb as the writer; Lily Taylor is outstanding as his daughter, and Lauren Ambrose is almost perfect as the demanding young woman. The movie is filled with love for writers and books, and there is great tenderness between the characters. A highly intelligent, rare treat.
Well worth watching.
A decent movie but not as great as the trailer and tv spot claiim it was going to be. Lili Taylor and Lauren Ambrose's performance seemed a bit stilted in the early scenes. Overall, I found it interesting.
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