Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

LOVED this movie.

Also glad to have had a good movie going experience at Roy Thompson Hall, again, after not going to a gala for the past seven years.

The experience was good because of a smart gamble I took in line. I had a balcony ticket. And Roy Thompson Hall is a symphony hall. Built for acoustics, not for viewing movies, and I already knew that watching a movie from the top balcony, with it's pale grey walls bouncing all the light so that you can see everyone in the theatre, as well or better than you could see the movie, was distracting at best. But while standing in the ticket holders line, about an hour before the movie was to start, a TIFF volunteer came by with a stack of tickets for the main floor level and offered them to us in exchange for our tickets. Most people weren't taking them. And after going in, I can kind of see why. 99.9% of the main floor seating is taken up by reserved seats for the various sponsors of the gala. But if you're only looking for a single ticket (as I was) and are willing to sit either on the edges or up front, it turned out to be a really good deal. I landed a seat in the second row, on an aisle. Yes, the movie was close, but only felt too close a couple of times, and I was right down front for when they introduced the cast and director at the start.

Unfortunately, my photo op dreams were dashed when a gaggle of photographers rushed in about five minutes before the introductions to block what would've been an amazing view. C'est la vie. Here's a lovely photo of one of the jerkiest photographer's backs. Jerky, because he stood back about 4 feet from the stage, to block our view even more effectively... I could almost touch him he was so close. Should've kicked him in hindsight. (But then I likely would've been kicked out and missed the movie.)

Anyway, I will post the photos I did manage to take.

And say something about the film... because it is about the film and not about photos of Keanu Reeves and Robin Wright. ;-) Really.

Loved it. The screenplay is based on a book by Rebecca Miller, who also wrote and directed the movie, and is also married to Daniel Day Lewis, so it's a little hard not to hate her, but her movie was so good, I can't. (She's beautiful, too... The next photo is of her.)

The story is about a middle-aged woman (I just had trouble typing that... because I think it's about a woman about my age) who's married to a much older man, and while the core of the story is anchored in the present, it makes heavy use of flashbacks showing Pippa growing up.

All the performances were outstanding. Even Blake Lively, one of the chicks from Gossip Girl, was good playing Pippa as a young adult. A stand out was Maria Bello as Pippa's mother. Wow. She's always good, but boy was she amazing in this.

Even all the small roles are played by great actors. Julianne Moore has a tiny, fun cameo. Winona Ryder was hilarious. A few of my laugh out loud moments came from her kind of pathetic character. And Keanu Reeves continues to impress me, now he's matured a bit. I thought he was terrific in that Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson movie, the name of which escapes me right now, and in some smaller films like Thumbsucker. I like that he's not afraid to play into the stereotypes about him as a person, and plays characters who suit him -- quiet, sensitive men -- instead of trying to be the alpha guy. (Like he did in a few ridiculous movies back in the 1990's. I mean really, even as Neo, Reeves was not an alpha.)

And what can I say about Robin Wright (sometimes Penn). Acting goddess. She was so believable in this movie, and I have to say one of the main reasons I love her these days is because she has wrinkles. It's been so long since we've seen the forehead or eyes of female actors (even some male actors) MOVE when they express emotion. I really hope this botox trend dies soon. But that's a blog for another day.

I know I haven't said much about the actual film, except to say I loved it, but I don't want to say too much. It is a "character study" kind of film... almost a coming of age film, even though it's set during a mid-life crisis of sorts, but it made me laugh out loud several times and it made me cry more than once (the mother-daughter stuff is very good). I'm not sure Pippa is someone I'd be friends with in real life, but boy did I feel like I understood her and how she got to be the way she was by the end. I predict award nominations for Robin Wright and possibly the screenwriter/director, Rebecca Miller, too.


Bev Katz Rosenbaum said...

Loved it too! Andie and I ended up buying balcony seats from somebody who came by the rush line we were standing in, and we traded them for main floor tickets too! (Only we were in the back row--still good!)

Wylie Kinson said...

Ooo... I've had my eye on this one since I first heard about it. Hope it makes it to my Blockbusters-Only movie theatre.
Love RRP since Moll Flanders.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Robin's dress doesn't leave much to the imagination, does it. Wonder if deserved-a-kick-in-the-arse photographer had *just* the right angle?

Kelly Boyce said...

I really want to see this movie. Glad you enjoyed it!

Barrie said...

Maureen, thanks, I got the header thing to work.

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