Monday, 2 August 2010

Please Give - Filmhouse - 2/8/10


Just brilliant.

A film that made me laugh and cry.

A film that rang true.

A wonderful cast.

A central performance from Catherine Keener that was mesmerising.


Keener plays Kate, the wife of Alex (Oliver Platt) and the mother of Abby (Sarah Steele). Alex and Kate run a bohemian furniture store selling kitch and antique furniture they purchase from the homes of the recently deceased and then sell on at a profit. They have also purchased the apartment next to theirs which is occupied by the terrifically curmudgeonly Andra (Ann Guilbert), a 91 year old housebound misery.

Andras grand-daugthers, the attentive Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) and the much less attentive Mary (Amanda Peet) meet with Kates family over a birthday dinner they throw for Andra and at that point the previously sedate lives of all three parties are thrown into disarray to varying degrees.

Kate finds herself riddled with guilt over her own good fortune and embarks on a series of misguided attempts to volunteer. Alex has a torrid affair with Mary which starts at the beauty salon where she works. Rebecca starts a new relationship. Abby grows obsessed with Mary with potentially devastating results.

Writer/director Nicole Holofcener delivers a beautiful, warm, honest and interesting film that deals with themes of love, obsession, lust, death and growing up; for a "small" film it has big ambitions and it achieves them with seemingly effortless ease. Keener proves, again, that she is an actress with real talent and an ever growing list of quality films behind her. Equally impressive here is Rebecca Hall who is also building up an impressive portfolio of work and is certainly worth keeping an eye on in the future.

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