Written December 02, 2009
Anchoring this 1hr 40min movie, Robert De Niro shared starring credits with Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale. As a recently widowed father of four who has to travel all over the country just to reunite and bring his family back together, Robert De Niro delivered a powerful emotionally-charged performance . As three of his children, the latter trio performed admirably although Sam Rockwell had such limited scope and screen-time.
Storm clouds and telephone wires are symbolic devices that were used to foreshadow various events in the movie - ill omen: impending bad news, and detachment: reliance on technology as a communication tool vs face-to-face communication/meetings.
Production quality is above-average.
Direction by Kirk Jones(Nanny McPhee, Walking Ned Devine) is solid.
Excellent editing by Andrew Mondshein(Chocolat, The Sixth Sense).
A well-made drama that should appeal to fans of the principal cast.
Written December 12, 2009
This movie has deceptive depth. Its NOT for everyone, a bit of a niche play; not everyone will get. It's best suited for parents who take their role seriously & philosophically or mature children who are trying to connect with their parents' world view. Others are likely to feel like walking out early in this well crafted film.
That said, we're part of the target demographic and I felt like walking out after the first 1/2 hour, but I'm glad we didn't. As the movie progressed, we saw much truth as witnessed in our lives and in the lives of others that we care about and felt there was a worthwhile message.
The acting is rock solid across the board. De Niro proves, as always, to be a consummate professional. Drew Barrymore is her authentic self; who could want more. All other roles are very well played. The story has redemptive uplift, but much of the movie is likely too real for anyone who has a high maintenance need to have sunshine blown their way all the time.
Written December 07, 2009
My husband, friends and I went opening day. I loved it, I got it! Robert DeNiro is a favorite of mine and came through as the wonderful mature father, retired day laborer who put his family first. His wife (not in the movie at all except through pictures) was a Stay-at-Home mother going about the business of tending the kids while he made his labor pay off financially for their educations and involvment in their arts as did our mothers and fathers while enjoying leisure with us at home outside work.
I very much appreciated that I was not spoon fed the plot. The entire presentation was much like reading a friendly book. It was comfortably ambling through the emotions of discovery as this newly alone father adapts to his role in his children's lives and they in his without the loving intercessions of the mother who allowed him to be the working man/provider in which he found completion because of her abilities to be his mirror partner in the lives of their children.
Written December 05, 2009
....that can wait for dvd release. I don't like saying that,I personally think the film deserves theatre viewing. It is just that if the cast were unknowns,or even less popular actors,it would not have been quite so charming and riveting. Mild on comedy,DeNiro is given the whole of laughable antics. Very heart warming,and an original way to get through and figure out the "unsaids"in this family's dynamic.Very clean.Not for kids or teens,as far as interest factor. I will pay more money in theatres for family friendly and admiriation of cast,but others might balk at theatre prices for a solid,but not very dramatic movie experience.
Written December 08, 2009
Was totally unexpected story line....my husband and I thought it would be a feel good family holiday story...and in a way it eventually turned towards that direction. DeNiro was genius in his role....a personality that can be related to by many american fathers. It was a character that couldn't be over played....and he nailed it....I thought the author was very strategic in how he introduced each adult child's personal issue and later brought them all together thru DeNiro's acceptance. I'd recommend it to others to see.