Lovely & Amazing

"Extraordinary"

Lovely & Amazing Review


Lovely & Amazing, Nicole Holofcener's follow-up to her feature debut Walking And Talking, doesn't quite rank with suburban classics like Ordinary People and American Beauty -- it never takes itself quite seriously enough for that; but it has the right makings for a memorable movie experience. Simple, sweet, and direct, this sensational portrait of engaging characters ranks as one of the year's best movies to date.

The film observes the daily rituals of four hapless but elastic women as they struggle with various demands of their eventful lives. While most movies would become lost in the complicated world of these spontaneous situations, Lovely & Amazing simply observes as the characters deal with thought-provoking issues involving relationships, health, age, romance, and work.

Brenda Blethyn plays Jane Marks, the insecure mother of a dazed trio of very different daughters. Michelle (Catherine Keener) a former homecoming queen, finds herself in a loveless marriage with a husband who doesn't appreciate her artistic talents. Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer) is an apprehensive actress whose career takes off as she falls in love with a huge movie star. The youngest sister, an adopted African-American eight-year old named Annie (Raven Goodwin), acts far too old for her age. On the threshold of an already confusing childhood, she has become obsessed with her appearance, despite serious weight problems.

The audience really cares about these characters as they walk through vital stages of their lives. Holofcener has written them with vivid detail, and the actors do a wonderful job of expanding them beyond the page. Keener provides Michelle with two contrasting personalities: a soft, gentle side and a hard, embittered bitch. Mortimer breathes life into Elizabeth's many insecurities through consistent physical and vocal characterization. And Blethyn perfectly portrays a mother by demonstrating understanding, reassurance, and emotional support for her daughters.

Seldom do movies create focus through spontaneity, but Lovely & Amazing feeds on surprise. Take a scene in which Elizabeth sleeps with a famous Hollywood actor (Dermot Mulroney). She stands before him, completely nude, and awkwardly questions her own sexiness. Where most movies would indulge such nudity for different reasons, this one looks at sex with a fascinating, original perspective.

Lovely & Amazing is exactly that: lovely and amazing. Each scene flows right into the next and each engaging moment explodes with honesty and intelligence. It isn't always a positive film, but even the negative scenes contain a touching, bittersweet humor. If not for an ineffective, inconclusive conclusion, it would be a complete delight. Though its message doesn't strike deep and emotional chords like many movies of this sort do, it does remind viewers of an important fact of life -- sometimes, you gotta tell people to go to hell.

The DVD features a few interviews as extras -- or you can just read ours.

It's some film critic. And he wants to talk to you.



Lovely & Amazing

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd August 2002

Box Office USA: $4.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $4.2M

Budget: $250 thousand

Distributed by: Lions Gate Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 104 Rotten: 17

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , Eric d'Arbeloff

Starring: as Michelle Marks, as Jane Marks, as Elizabebeth Marks, as Jordan, as Paul, as Kevin McCabe, Troy Ruptash as Photographer, as Annie Marks

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.