Sunday, June 20, 2010

Please Give: A Human, Funny Dramedy

"Please Give," a movie packed with virtuoso acting performances and directed and written by the perceptive indy rising star Nicole Holofcener gives us a sometimes uncomfortable, often very funny look inside the inside of apartment neighbors in New York City.

Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener, a couple of veteran character actors, are simply splendid, but this movie is almost stolen from them by
Ann Morgan Guilbert playing a 91-year-old, near-death neighbor, whose death would benefit the Platt-Keener characters because they'd get the old lady's apartment. Guilbert's squabbling grand-daughters and a 15-year-old Platt-Keener daughter with acute acne round out a cast that glows in every scene.

It's playing at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke and is the kind of movie the Grandin should have many, many more of.

The story gets into a lot of private places with a blunt directness led by Guilbert's old lady, who is as irascible as a jackhammer. One of her granddaughters--the gorgeous one--got her genes directly and is mean, intrusive and, ultimately as vulnerable and wounded as everybody else in this clear and clearly human tragi-comedy.

It is a marvelous movie that you won't see among the top-grossers of the day, but one that should--if the gods cared--make a mark on Awards Day.

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