Sunday, September 14, 2014

Enough Said: Not Enough Have Seen This Gem of a Film.

Movie Review: Enough Said

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Reviewed: 14 September 2014

jamesintexas rating--***1/2

Enough Said covers ground well-worn: parents dealing with the empty nest as seniors prepare to leave for college; divorce in the modern age; dating and dishonesty. Yet, Nicole Holofcener's film captures its characters with new insight and grace, making a comedy of manners in a sense set against the shifting time in a parent's life. I found it to be admirable, sweet, and moving.

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss owns the film as divorced mom and masseuse Eva who struggles in her career, relationship with her daughter, and her own feelings as life prepares to move forward. A chance encounter with the divorced Albert (James Gandolfini) at a party sparks a laugh, and they form a connection that leads to a date. Albert is self-deprecating and weary, a bit sad in the eyes with the prospect of his daughter leaving for college as well; together, they are sharp and alive though not sure if they are right for each other. Holofcener, who also wrote the film, layers in the supporting characters played by Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, and Ben Falcone in believable and often hilarious ways, but to say more might ruin the charm of this film. I guarantee that there is at least one moment that is a cover-your-eyes-with-embarrassment-horror type of moment, and that's the sign that a comedy has worked its way into your brain and skin. It asks the question "How much do you want to know about a person at the beginning of a relationship?" The intrigue of what to leave mysterious in this age of total lack of privacy is thrilling, and the comedy arises from the inability of Eva to extract herself from the lives of the people around her.

There is such a warmth between Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfuss in this film. The performances are revelatory from these actors I associate mostly with their television shows. There is no doubt that I look at Gandolfini's Albert and think about it being one Gandolfini's last performances, adding an unintentionally elegiac quality to the film. Gandolfini will always be Tony Soprano, but consider his work in True Romance, Get Shorty, A Civil Action, and In The Loop as well. He delivers another fine performance here. And as for Louis-Dreyfuss, this performance feels like her cinematic debut of sorts, and she shines. I am deeply disappointing both acting performances were not Academy Award nominated. There is a tenderness and a very adult feel to the film, and I think it has been overlooked by far too many for far too long. Please see this film.

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