HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lovely & Amazing How Do I Look?
Year: 2001
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Stars: Catherine Keener, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Mortimer, Raven Goodwin, Aunjanue Ellis, Clark Gregg, Jake Gyllenhaal, James LeGros, Michael Nouri, Dermot Mulroney, Lee Garlington, Dreya Weber, Spencer Garrett, Ashlynn Rose, Kristen Dalton, Scott Adsit
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Jane Marks (Brenda Blethyn) is the mother of three daughters, one an adopted eight-year-old, Annie (Raven Goodwin) whose mother was a crack addict, and two grown women, Michelle (Catherine Keener), who is married with a daughter of her own and trying to establish herself as an artist, and Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer) who is an actress, but also finding trouble making a career for herself in the industry. Where Michelle makes little craft chairs which she tries to sell to nobody's interest, Elizabeth has to undergo some humiliating processes of self-promotion, though she is pleased she will be having a movie opening soon...

Lovely & Amazing was the second full-length feature from writer and director Nicole Holofcener, and the one which began to set her in the minds of those who followed such comedies as a female Woody Allen, apparently because they shared a sharp examination of what made modern relationships tick in an metropolitan environment. That she is the stepdaughter of Charles H. Joffe only underlined the connection, he being a long time producer on Allen's movies, but if you managed to see her work as something apart from any of the more obvious male comparisons then it's clear she has her own voice and was not prepared to simply fall back on clich├ęs or have her characters behave like their masculine counterparts.

There was a definite female take on her characters, so much so that the men were rather neglected, being stock boyfriend or husband personas for the Marks family to concern themselves with, and all that was to do with the male gaze: the women are obsessed with how they are seen by the opposite sex. Jane, for example, thinks that as a single mother of a certain age she can be more attractive, so she plans cosmetic surgery to reduce her weight; not only that, but she thinks she now has a chance with her surgeon (Michael Nouri), something we can discern is a rather desperate wish on her part as he is nothing but professional, and that includes his distance from his patients.

Elizabeth meanwhile, being an actress, believes her face is her fortune, and her body too for that matter, which is why she is no less preoccupied with the way she looks, not accepting her boyfriend (James LeGros) can actually love her when she sees so many things wrong with her. This exasperates him so much that eventually, you guessed it, he falls out of love with her as if her perception of herself has completely turned him off, but soon she is dating another man, an actor this time (Dermot Mulroney) who is slightly dim but the star of a popular TV show. She fails an audition to star alongside him because of a lack of "chemistry", but perversely he ends up courting her which is supposed to make her feel better.

But what it actually does is lead her self-examination to fresh heights of navel-gazing, and not only the navel as the film's most famous scene has Elizabeth gently demanding Mulroney's nice but womanising actor to give her a measured critique of her body as she stands before him naked. It's a sequence which sums up all the women's self-esteem issues but also the need to be the centre of attention, as if their problems, real or imagined, will make them all the more fascinating to others rather than simply themselves. Annie has issues too, wanting to be white, eating too much, and acting up because of them, while Michelle starts an affair with twenty years younger teenager Jake Gyllenhaal when she falls out with her husband Clark Gregg, not something which is much help, as meanwhile Jane's operation lands her in a coma. Interestingly, none of them seem to learn much by the end, but Holofcener uses the characters to tell us lessons we can take to heart even if the Marks ladies do not. Maybe more dramatic than humorous, but worthwhile. Music by Craig Richey.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1971 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: