Little Men : A Film Review

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Little Men 

The listing

Directed by Ira Sachs and Co-written by Mauricio Zacharias and Ira Sachs. Duration … 1hr 25mins, Cert. PG. Country …United States, Language … English, Cast. Jennifer Ehle … Kathy Jardine, Paulina García … Leonor Calvelli, Talia Balsam … Audrey, Clare Foley … Sally, Greg Kinnear … Brian Jardine, Alfred Molina … Hernan, Andy Karl, Yolonda Ross, Michael Barbieri … Tony Calvelli, Theo Taplitz … Jake Jardine, Arthur J. Nascarella … Stu Gershman, Elia Monte-Brown … Bianca, Stella Schnabel, Melanie Mahanna … Customer, Mauricio Bustamante … Acting Teacher, Johnny Serret …Visitor at the Museum, Ching Valdes-Aran …Merlene, Kevin D. McGee … Audience member, Stan Carp …Sal Bartolini, Yolanda T. Ross, Teeka Duplessis … Eva, Madison Wright … Julia, Kellan McCann …Tony’s teammate and classmate, Bryan Webster …Park Ranger.

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Previous form

The writers, Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, directed and co-wrote the hit Love Is Strange movie reaching a fairly wide audience and this is another New York-set tale that is as charming, insightful, clever, bittersweet and a compelling story well developed.

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The basics

Jake (Theo Taplitz ) is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony (Michael Barbieri) at his grandfather’s funeral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake’s parents (Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle) and Tony’s mother (Paulina Garcia) threatens to become contentious. (QFT trailer)

 

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Adulthood divides

There are authors, writers who give a twist and flavour to New York along the lines of, literally, Paul Auster and this urban observer Ira Sachs, whose partnership in writing this screenplay with Mauricio Zacharias, does similar things and produces another dialogue on relationships here honed in on sexual awakenings of youth rebelliousness and in altering states of self construct.  The principles at the heart of the narrative are the boys, 13 year olds who are instant neighbours.  Dealing with LGBT issues in most works, here Sachs allows the sexual to be less apparent and very, very understated via. natural discover alone though is contexurally present.  It avoids and will inform some parents in a similar situation (not in a property dogfight!) giving entry in a different way; there are many to choose from, to the subject of pre-adult teenagers sexuality.  It is so balanced here in the sensitivities needing care and enlightened reasoned, film formatting, of boyhood sexual urges.  Jake (Theo Taplitz ) whose parents move into the flat, apartment in Brooklyn, above the under priced rental shop accommodation.  The two teens are first timers at this acting business and adapt to the strangeness, quirksome, off main boulevard street story.  Streetwise Tony (Michael Barbieri) is a prospective painter, while Jake aspires to act.  Both have opposite personalities. Jake the introvert and Tony the extrovert.  Occasionally you may see some Midnight cowboy type undertones of New York LGBT variety.  The notion has crossed people’s minds before of the homoeroticism in that film.  The naive cowboy is in this construct then Jake.  Wise guys, streetwise folk exist on every street corner and the boulevard of dreams steams up neighbourhood vents and has done for decades.  I saw a bit of – in the prospective actor Tony – his spoof on being the Al Pacino of 2016 but back in the day!  He has a few tries at it for his and your amusement. So NY. So Hip.

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Real Estate bites

Harsh as it is, here there is a conflict to test friendships.  The deceased grandfather was close to the Tony’s mother and therefore it is obvious they had an arrangement for her improving her life, probably explaining the minuscule rent.  Pauline Garcia, Leonor, the Chiliean actress seen previously in Gloria, has a hard enough life running a dress business and raising Tony.  Sentiments count for little and Brian under pressure from his sister Audrey who on my view gets a bit of a hard nosed deal being made to be a baddie, and conscious his own endeavours on the work front (Theatre acting and production) are parlous – he is immersed in an allegorical Russian play favoured by NY’s who don’t get GBS or Henric Ibsen – and the real driver work wise is Jennifer Ehle, a psychologist? who not only outperforms the under animated Brian – he doesn’t jack up emotion terribly well here, making me question is it deliberate, Greg Kinnear is playing a (under geared? directed that way?) misguided man whose relative security has in these real estate leveraged times become somewhat liaise-faire and it is a security he is ill equipped to adjust to – he gets easily into overbearing insensitive territory without a back up plan and without regard to those around him.  This playing has a man choker style, meaning the stereotype is white collar man whose traits are mysoginistic if unintentinal through self-awareness – the lack of it –  puritan based, conservative, while the Leonor independant character is a smoker impelled on a mediocre limited scene sullen contrive. She is seen most times in confrontational mode which can’t be great for an actor.  Her part certainly has moments, is gesture driven, but is wrested away by the surrounding cast and playing.  The boys themselves have a tendency to produce heavy tasting wine. Too explicit not implicit.  But they are young first time actors without fulsome direction and sterling work is still delivered.  The only tool in their kidultkit is communication and they use it to devastating effect.  Knowing its presence and absence is learnt unfortunately fast.  Reverting to the baby phase.  Lacking the intellectual argument.

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Political stakes.

The Ira Sachs development is cleverly advancing. Mauricio Zacharias as collaborator also has a voice.  The NY set of observations on contemporary – noises off – think Gordon Ramsey kitchen assault on cultural background for the flaming burnt offering implicitly close always.  We are kept away from that but it lurks with very considered homage to the opposite – the glory of the place of a mix of nationalities pushed into mind ghettos by power play with property mainly – you don’t need to look to far to see ‘the ugly face of capitalism’and it seeks election very soon) and NY is in some kind of nasty meltdown and Ira knows it.  Insisting on conveying a near Naom Chomsky archetypal class in a glass. Red or white which do you prefer dining table politik, the worthiness is grafted on.  Chomsky is direct, this isn’t.

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Perhaps, and the sexual flourishes in earlier movies which inevitably in each step have occurred, though a tad over developed, may move his art nearer the heartland of Auster, of David Mamet, if social power play is to be found – away from the George Clooney ‘captured in Tv mogul’ vogue, and more Glengarry Glen Ross. It way be a mission worth joining.  I saw all the plays of David Mamet put on at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloan Square, at least twice with Glengarry Glen Ross making it to the NT Cottesloe  The equivalent was a key of Mamets work, the urban kitchen sink drama, sexually energised, Chicago American sociological canvas contempories such as the revived Ken Loach has spectacularly delivered with soon to be released I’Daniel Blake.  I’ve seen it and it is devastatingly good. A Faustian, William Blake Canterbury Tale of 21 post 1066 revolutionary shift!  Brexit as a titbit to a reconstituted Adam Smith based, Francis Hutcheson, new Age of enlightenment.#. The stillness of filmic political narrative in the USA has reached a bit of a lull, post Michael Moore docufilm.  More innovative work is needed. Ira Sachs hasn’t reached there yet; he’s only aged fifty so many films ahead hopefully, with this very accomplished work an indicator but it seems tantalisingly close so perhaps excuses my going of on a tangent.

Conclusion. ### 3 1/2

This is not a stereotypical LGBT movie as others seem to place without having perhaps having seen it but a more considered withdrawn look at boyhood unfolds in a natural sort of way and while having obvious tones of a gay childhood entering adolescence it is not the be all and end all.  In fact many will be pleasantly surprised by its mature tones and the delicate way the adolescence is seen.  It is more figuratively about the boys being piggy in the middle as a parental battle over real estate values become not quite toxic but heated and ugly.  Ira Sachs has displayed again an ingenuity for sensitive relationship matters but it becomes slightly stuck in the adult sterotypes he creates.  The sister of Brian, Audrey, for example is seen as pushy, especially at a family gathering, but is in actual fact meant to be a joint benefactor of the bequeathed Brooklyn two storey building.  Neat in a civilised pre-modernity/21st century rapacious way with ‘neighbourhood’ meaning that.  Excellently atmospheric it gives the appearance of the set of values Ira Sachs is talking about or is in mourning for the diminishing returns real estate greed delivers.  This would be a very good film for parents meeting gay issues for the first time with their own children perhaps or to warn them you can’t always chose yor neighbours.  Leonar and Tony had no choice but out of the deal only one got any friendship. I liked this film quite a bit and will remember it’s story and allow it the further consideration it deserves by further viewing at some point.  It did lack the optical bite it harboured though.  This is a very decent film troubled in my mind not by any lack of integrity but the lack of character dynamics, being controlled and with limitations within the eloquent script.  It’s shades are cast to limiting effect.

I hope it is a good point to allow this team to enter the more complex waters of the themes of corporate and civic worlds indifferent to each others needs and have they, those worlds, personalities at all?  Lille men? Well I suppose as adolescents growing up fast teaches several important but fast life lessons.
John Graham

5 October 2016

Belfast

On at QFT Belfast from 7 October to 13 October 2016 inc.
# a movement locally is gathering steam to employ some Francis Hutcheson philosophy into our hamstrung times. I’m only myself learning of this recent emergence courtesy of one know locally as the Rev. Mac.

His location is at Dunmurry Belfast which has long association with leaders of liberal and inclusive thinking – seen by many still to be abhorrent and – quite incorrectly – against their heritage and values.  A position favoured by the One per-cent to perpetuate divisive values.  All religions without exception have their destructive elements.

Obvious Child : A Film Review

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Director Gillian Robespierre, USA, 1hr 25mins, Cert 15

Cast: Jenny Slate as Donna, Jake Lacy as Max the one night stand, Gaby Hoffman as Nellie the roommate and BF, David Cross as Sam another comic friend, Gabe Liedman as a comic and gay friend, Richard Kind as Jacob Stern Donnas father, Polly Draper as Donnas Mum, Paul Briganti as Ryan, Cindy Cheung as Dr Bernard the Planned parenthood clinician, and where would you be without a bookstore in Brooklyn, Stephen Singer as Gene.

Intensely Absorbing
Viewing this film went in a flash. It is such an absorbing portrayal of a subject which has every community and ever woman and man who have personally been confronted with an aborted pregnancy and those that haven’t drawn closely into the central issue. It consumes ever emotion delivered by the quality of Gillian Robespierres penned story. It happens when she also has found an unguarded uncompromising new romance that is unsettled from the outset.
It illuminates and conspicuously puts the issue of abortion front and central in this compelling film.

Never simple never more real.

If anyone thought every woman who became pregnant from whatever circumstances believed she did not carry a possible life and that the egg carried is fertilised is plainly not in possession of reason.
Reason has it that the body of the woman can carry or physically abort that fertilised egg. It stands to reason that choice exists. It is a choice only one person can make and one no one should make for her.

Maybe it has been without question; never a concern or a possibility.
Which judgement is the previous line about?

It seems the power of control and oppressive treatment of the woman is behind the anti-abortion mind. The time in which that decision is made is often when loud voices and lobby groups lay siege on other people’s bodies.  They are less inclined to go to war one suspects as it too can define a bodies value.  Nevertheless perversely they trust their judged ownership over others lives.
How does that feel? Not knowing on which side even the question above falls.
Of the woman finding out what is required for her. Of what the fertilised egg which she has is as a consequence to her future. Only the woman is privy.
It is possible to abort in a very short time and it is clear the proximity of health care providers to the newly pregnant will make the decision more enabled in the event it is wanted. Being impregnated and fertilised is a sexual eventuality which happens in a millisecond. The sperm swings into action and like a thought arriving jointly in consent of intercourse the possibility it takes on a life of its own as a sacrificial match igniting a fire, is transformative. Wanted suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, without the drawbacks.
No other thing is determined. Sex makes children but children are not always the aim or the intention and we are privileged as humans to enjoy sex without the premeditative state of child making being the purpose of sexual intercourse. Intercourse is provocative, unprocreative, erotic, a sensual course of actions motivated in all manner of couplings and is a means of creating connections of our senses with another’s.

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The Donna Dilemma

The place Donna performs is a fairly regular Brooklyn Bar. It has a pre-graffitied unisex toilet with the comedy in the curtained off back room enroute to the loo. This is where, if your senses are numb enough after or before a few beers you can expect humour droll and troll shaped with comedy so dry you think you have been stalked.
Is there a sub-genre in comedy foe female comedians to tkalk about men and women’s pants, the inside ones used for filtering fart jokes and cheesy wot’sits masquarading as hooky discharge. Next up variations on bake-off for snooker players who despise FGM and outrageous homophobic jokes.
Yes there’s not a lot of it about but Donna aka Jenny Slate has a better comedic breath than this film and Edinburgh Fest Daggers portray.

Pro Choice Brooklyn

One good choice Donna has made is the living in Brooklyn which hopefully is as friendly as the vibe of direction, that even on a cold day the parks have a slick black safe path to walk along and with the legend that is – not the idiosyncratic Bookstore she works at from which she is is to lose her day job through a rental hike or lease termination of this engaged bookstore building – the Brooklyn Book Fair which draws thousands each year.  There is a playful semi disregard of the future for this twenty year old and it all gets very conspirator when er boyfriend of late at the comedy club confesses to having paired off with a confidant of Donna’s making one bad judgement turn into two.  This summons the wine fuzzing scene.  The scenes are approached in a very old fashioned way as are the face and wide shots and convention seems an intrinsic device to put a context to the morality tale which unfolds.

Max played by Jake Lacy is the straight guy who walks into the bar one night and strokes up a fairly routine conversation and after awhile she bonds enough to do an outdoor bodily function before they move onto smarter bodily functions and it wasn’t farting earlier, that is dancing.  It goes up a gear and there’s your story.

Mr Max as an easy going pleasant, no sides personality which is not sufficiently complex for Donna we figure.  It so happens he can’t do too many wrong things without apologizing and making amends somehow.  How would her life cope with that we are asked to consider as each step unfolds.  We also are neatly put in the position of having no gripe with Max making us unable to off load a guilt trip abortion exit on him.  No it is straight down to Donna and Jenny Slate puts us through the ringer as well as constructing a possibility of last minute withdrawal, at least I had it thus and I must also admit I did not cover the predicament mentally by laughing about it.  There was not the comedy Fest a lot of reviews have alluded to but a thoughtful appreciative audience engaging with this monumental decision being taken inside this vulnerable twenty something’s head.

Intensely moving Drama

The timeline is believable with over two weeks of intense self reflection and questioning this point in her life where career isn’t a word she needs lock too, it will be sometime before she gets one and the part time comedy just got way too close and vulnerability shakes her core.

Paper Mountains

On Friday last a 2014 award winning newspaper carried on its National page 10 a film review (shoving as it sometimes does with Venice, into a different arena, that of Political incisiveness?) which had 5 stars, for the film The Look of Silence. This film OC featured in its Friday review section received 3 stars in text failing to carry paragraphs. A feature writer had a week or so previously written incisively on Obvious Child with some emphasis on how in the past, ’80s etc the issue central to this film was part of a sub-text, never prominent and the time we are in is newly ‘Hollywood Conservatism’. It also is taken as a very funny independant film which thankfully drops the ridiculous message of romantic comedy.

The writer obviously, in line with her forthcoming book on Hollywood Conservatism, touched on an aspect of the film which indeed shows the full focus of this lead Jenny Slate playing in an film narrated environment which is an unhindered pro-choice, un-hectoring society except for the straining Health care Clinician who; and a neat inter-racial, the only one evident, puts across the truth she, Donna, has to consider the options available. Donna has brought the decision to the clinician already made on the basis of her options and loudly asserts “I want an abortion” without volume but with fully fetched directness.

That actually is the message of the film. The woman choosing what happens within her body. As only for a quick rejection replacing fuck bitten condoms and double vision eyes whacked on JD as opposed to the earlier crying session of wine drunk from a jam jar after her break up the condition would not exist. Not all on the same day you understand.

Conclusion #### 4

This is a far reaching film which will find audiences of many nations and of different cultural, economic circumstance meet the film at the heart of the issue of aborting an embryo at an early stage of pregnancy.  It is not complicated by many variables hence a late abortion, a mis-function based abortion, or a mental breakdown, level of immaturity or other pressing reasons.  It is a film constructed around a simple message. That alone it is the woman whose body carries the egg who must decide.

It does carry its load lightly knowingly with the device of laughter but it is a film which carries with it social realism and provides and carries wisdom.

To be found at nationwide cinemas and at

QFT Belfast from Friday 5 September to Thursday 11 September 2014

Well worth seeing.

 

John Graham

3 September 2014

Belfast

Fading Gigilo : A Film Review

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Towers of Babel
This film caught me unexpectedly with its tenderness, it’s squaring of the circle of love and its complex companion sex. This is definitely a screwball comedy which flexes its comedy with a bit or two of heavy Jewish slapstick irony in a full sunny delight New York, Brooklyn in particular, robust life goes on in the background.
The luster has left Woody Allen sometime ago for me and a rub of fortune from screenwriter, actor and director John Turturro brings a little shine back to the master comic persona that is Woody Allen.
I was past caring what he did and this films portrayal of a pimp by Woody Allen has his usual comedy dodge ball routine, wisecrack commentary sweeping down the cinema aisles and seats more than ever before, or since fellow Jew and what most Jewish comedians base their act on, Moses, laying down the Ten Commandments.
Moses wasn’t actually a comedian you will know, but most of you will have realised that sinfulness is never a difficulty with humans and the Hebrews (also human) nor has it been since they got told not to do certain things and to embrace others.
Pimp
In ‘The Ask‘ by Sam Lipsyte the first line of the book goes –
“America, said Horace, the office temp, was a rundown and demented pimp.” The begotten, begorra, shift in the first world run by a bunch of pimps is its schmaltzy odyssey.
When the Hebrews idolatry of the golden calf that immediately preceded it (the TC) is forbidden, it may figure as a turning point from getting what you want. Rescued and given the promised land. You could say the Jewish race never recovered. Having seen the riches the people act all human and acquire things surreptitiously and veraciously. Greed had left the traps.
Come to think of it this film adopts a little more Jewish philosophy, “The consumer is always right.” Give them what they want.

The Jewish slant is merely a reviewers presumed anchor to pitch context, it perhaps is what might be seen as an anti-semetic view. If it were true I would be astonished, as it would offer a way back to God for those Jews who transgress never mind all others. We do not separate so.

The fact is we all transgress and forgiveness though never plain is the way in which those failings are to be accepted.
Firstly you have to be aware of the sin.
Spin Miester
The pimp is the spin doctor, the one who indulges in the fantasy of needy patrons as their go between. Like e-bay or Tinder app. it acts as the safe commodisiser. Love is never having to put your hand on your wallet/purse!
Love is for ever, but insoluble it can never be explained. the many guises of sex, as a commodity and pleasure, power, weakness, fantasy, acts of illicit encounter all appearances and surface embodiment are all contained in a strangers desires. In this synopsis there are strong women whose need for sex is unrealised and their repressed craving is able to be satiated by a little exploration and exploitation by the septigenarian, immoral and poor bookseller Murray played by Woody Allen
Along for the ride
The married dermatologist Dr Parker, the immaculate screen beauty, Sharon Stone, encourages Woody Allen, the initiate go between, to find her an escape from her repression, to add some lift to the boredom of domestic and married life and for her unchallenged intellect to play within her, those fantasies she courts as a woman not prepared to accept those limits set in her present life.
Sharon Stone inhabits the part like a new skin, hormones awake under perfect alter ego. She has all the skills and slinkiness that forces you to go along with this madcap set of circumstances. John Turturro has the other card to play to convince us he is Mr Right there and then. It makes it into Dr Parker’s flat and unfolds like a first teenage date and with a few scotches to stop it hitting the rocks.
She does what we wish her to do, to explore the levels of unconscious feelings she keeps hidden, to explore and set aside shamefulness as it’s meaningless guard only suppresses natural instincts. She blasts out a reference to hubby in flagrante. It is not even, once a routine is started, anyway shameful, more recreational and good for body and mind. Fiorvvante has a lot on his mind and he calls upon his own memory for quotations, Italian, Jewish and everyday Americano to make his own adjustments. He begins to struggle in coming to terms with his new role. He needs little encouragement as he can figure things out while he ‘works’.

Intesity gathers pace

Fiorvante has no family and is himself a reluctant loner and begins to see what the clients see and it immerses him a little deeply when a local Jewish widow, with a family of six, ventures or is encouraged by the now therapist pimp into conquering her aloneness.

This is the character Abigail and she is an ordinary domestic, played by the extraordinary Vanessa Paradis whose perilous looks could create heartache wherever she flashes her eyes and looks away. She is vulnerable and fearful.
Fear is overcome by Murray when a cheque or brown envelope might appear. In fact Murray just loves the money and has expansion on his mind and the pair get into a routine which has little cover.
Fear is overcome by Dr Parker when her Lothario is hand picked and she quizzes Murray about the ‘Gigilo’. Murray lies through his teeth on his employees track record and paints a corny identity for his charge. Fiorvante is somewhat already a go between himself, being a florist, his occupation acting as a symbolic response refuge for pleasure, pain, forgiveness and exhalation with outwardly visible extravagance. Fioravante, John Turturro, is that pupil Gigolo whose fortune happens to be to accept the many gifts, not all redeemable that his client Dr Parker has to offer. In return he has to keep his manipulated lustings and concepts of sexual pleasure in check, not that Dr M has much problem expressing her needs, so with his notions of sex converted to something else in these illicit waters, Grafenberg equations ticking over in his head like root tables, Fiorvante is quickly into not saying a great deal unless it is positive, gracious or gratifying.
His needs are expanded and at once are modified, with clouds gathering in this new heady otherworld he becomes unsettled.
The last person you would think he should confide in is a pecuniary, kvetching, neurotic, supercilious, demanding Jew called Murray.
The stakes raise when Sharon Stone suggests a favour for her friend Selina, another unlikely unrequited, unsatisfied sexual soul.
She is enlisted as a client and offers up the axiom “Men don’t understand what goes on inside a woman’s head.” His reply is “I wouldn’t be here if I did ” instantly gets her response, “Good reply, I like a man who’s funny”
The voluptuous part, (the film gets absurdly populated with many attractive women and some tend to be a bit type cast,) is filled by the film star looks of Sofia Vergara. Fiorvantes reply had many interpretations but she was only going with the one that got her satisfied, which was the right answer. Smart girl.

The favour Selina angles for, once into the swing of things, is a threesome with Woody – Fiorvante the shrinking violet. Tough call.

Shady Sharon is full of her off and on screen charm as you can see she delights in playing another vampish strong woman getting her kicks as she pleases and playing her chips riskly and less villanesque than her Casino performance which won her a Golden Globe.
She is immensely charming, energisers the part with her natural ability which rolls the story on without becoming over trodden by the Woody part, Murray, which has you defraying real life, film life, in this role which he manages skillfully and to which his comedic talent is eminently and jewishly suited. His intensity in markedly oratorical and exclaimatic. The tongue never resting as another contradictory notion has assembled at the foot of his mental stairs and demands it climbs from his dark bunker wherein lives his imprisoned Issac. He fumbles some words on purpose showing some latter day contriteness. His Soul.
Everything he utters seems a reflection of the past. The cries of Issac no longer silent becoming the métier of hatred, sullied, trades veracity for a quick return. He is a wreck of a person ungarnered and employs his lack of morality as though it is mere comedy.
The Pop up Shop
To set up this business requires a plan and scale of rates if things get complicated. Are there union dues, federal taxes, licensing, marketing, consumables, rental costs? I think he has not thought this through.
Is he treading on anyone’s patch. This could be a real money spinner.
But what about the healthcare plan? Should his Gigilo join a gym, this is going to be calorie burning in all directions? How does he distinguish this from the local Cathouse where men pay to rape women? Does he need agency staff and what is their rate a pop? How many cellphones does one need? Arms, could he join the NRA, what about tooling up in case of a raid or unexpected violence from one of the clients, upset at the (unintended) slur if performance is not its finest? Tricky business the trick business.
Now has it an upside?
Neighbourhood Watch
There is a sheriff of the Jewish neighbourhood whose job; the notion of Job’s comforter comes to mind as the incumbent is in danger of depressing everyone if he gets wind of this new business in the district. He provides more Jewish idioms and introduces the quixotic customs and quasi realism of Jewish live in Brooklyn. It even has a Mafia style sit down when it comes to confession time. A funny routine and sends you right back to Mount Sinai and those sins again. There is also a Jewish lawyer involved and the fee gets discussed on the walk down.

This film has many soulful moments. It makes a lot of terminally silly jokes about culture and the bedraggled misplaced nature of modernity.
It has vast open plan apartments where, if you feel like climbing the walls then go right ahead, there is a replica rock face in the cavernous space. Sharon’s. Self pictorial wall hangings and little actual sense of place or belonging.

There is a walk in Central Park in which a steep set of steps has light cascading down to the would be lovers and the greenery is a little temporary heaven. There is the muddle of Woody’s domestic arrangements in which he is the live in guru it seems to a flock of over active Afro Caribbean kids, as opposed to the chosen ones as part of Abigail’s brood.

Conclusion
###3
Not all life is there and try as it might to be a slapstick on cultural mores and difference it ultimately gets properly placed as a contemporary take on relationships and separated unrequited love with plenty of contrasts and dilemmas at most steps on the way.
How does it resolve itself? Well in true New York style whatever happens life goes on and it constantly will surprise which is no surprise.
John and Vanessa, (Abigail,) exchange lots of quotations, as do some others, the exhaustible Murray of course, the Sharon and Sofia foil is a class act and all coffee shops are not replicas of Starbucks. It is a compassionate piece and it would be interesting to see if its comedic values are strong in the New York sense, or is this routine baloney which faces differing cultures all the time.
As you can see I have made a lot of inferences around what is just a movie and I hope it does not offend. The movie does not offend and as opinion, entertainment it is part of diversity.
As the last review said Films have many faces.
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A little more from The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.   It has Brooklyn origins.
Extract from Chapter Fourteen. Buy and read!
This particular movie took place in Hollywood’s New York, a wonderland of pensive latte-sipping and meaningful strolls through Central Park. The city looked crisp, exquisite. The citizens lived like simple millionaires. Our principals were a lonely man and a lonely woman, each with a buffoonish, homely sidekick who would have been thought attractive in real life, and a fascinating, but finally unfulfilling – because there was nobody to “share it all with” – career. They sought each other, missed each other, at cocktail parties, in train terminals, at flower shops, their fin de siècle Nokias gaining symbolic power with each scene. Sucked into the vortex of high formula, a slow sob rose in my body. Just like porn or bang-bang, this was pure stuff, concocted for the baser circuits, the lizard board.
from The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.

Review/Opinion

John Graham

21 May 2014

Belfast