HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dear Eleanor What would Mrs. Roosevelt do?
Year: 2016
Director: Kevin Connolly
Stars: Liana Liberato, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson, Josh Lucas, Joel Courtney, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Ione Skye, Claire van der Boom
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1962, California pumpkin farm girl Ellie Potter (Liana Liberato) is devastated when her mom is killed in a hit-and-run. While her dad (Luke Wilson) drowns his sorrows at the local bar, teenage Ellie struggles to raise four siblings and tend the farm by herself. Sick of being taken for granted and driven to honour her late mother, Ellie embarks on an impulsive adventure. Together with fun-loving best friend Max (Isabelle Fuhrman), Ellie sneaks away in her father's bright blue convertible on a cross-country road trip to meet her mom's idol, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Along an eventful journey the girls cross paths with some interesting people and share many misadventures.

Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions, Dear Eleanor spins a slight yet nonetheless heartwarming tale, filtered through the warmth of early Sixties nostalgia and energized by sparky, charismatic performances from rising stars Isabelle Fuhrman and in particular Liane Liberato. Both horror movie veterans, the young leads seem eager to break away from the creepy characters they have played in the past. Their chemistry and infectious good spirits keep the movie consistently watchable in spite of a ramshackle plot. It is worth watching for Ellie and Max's impromptu dance tribute to Marilyn Monroe alone. Actor Kevin Connolly, best known for his role as 'E' on the popular HBO series and spin-off movie Entourage, has a parallel career as a director both on television and indie film including Whatever We Do (2003) and Gardener of Eden (2007). Perhaps mindful of the dubious gender politics central to Entourage, Connolly latched onto a script that wears its feminist heart on its sleeve which is no bad thing.

Co-written by actress Aimee Garcia and Cecilia Contreras the film portrays its teen heroine as a believable hybrid of self-confidence and uncertainty and takes her on a road trip confronting contrasted incarnations of femininity. These range from the spiritual figurehead of pioneering social reformer Eleanor Roosevelt, the maternal warmth embodied by Ellie's late mother (Claire van der Boom) and a cameo from Ione Skye as a friendly stranger, the sensuality of Marilyn Monroe and Max's Aunt Daisy (Jessica Alba) who proves a hybrid of the latter two. Unfortunately the film fails to expound on Eleanor Roosevelt's significance as a feminist icon and champion of social reform in any meaningful way. In addition its concept of feminism does not amount to much more than rehashing a lot of Disneyesque clichés about friends sticking together and never giving up on their dreams. As a nostalgic comedy however Dear Eleanor packs no small amount of charm, landing likable characters in frequently funny situations. In particular a subplot wherein the girls end up sharing their car with Frank Morris (Josh Lucas), the same real-life escaped convict Clint Eastwood portrayed in Escape from Alcatraz (1979). Their awkward meal together in a diner observed by cops whilst bonding over quotes from the movies Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Night of the Hunter (1955) prove especially memorable. Meanwhile Jessica Alba enjoys her best role in years as a showgirl fallen on hard times and performs a splendidly sexy retro-Sixties styled dance routine.

Had its plot been tighter and feminist subtext more pointed Dear Eleanor could well have been a more substantial comedy-drama rather than merely a pleasant and engaging one. Even so Kevin Connolly – working with cinematographer Steven Fierberg – exhibits a keen eye for poetic visuals. What is more the film has a charmingly quirky sense of humour and Liana Liberato's nuanced turn wrings every ounce of emotion from the winning climax.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1647 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: