Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2006. This Is That Productions. Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener. Cinematography by Terry Stacey. Produced by Anthony Bregman. Music by Rickie Lee Jones. Production Design by Amy B. Ancona. Costume Design by Michael Wilkinson. Film Editing by Robert Frazen. Independent Spirit Awards 2006.
Nicole Holofcener has created another fascinating look at women who are both challenging and challenged in this too-short but wholly engrossing character piece. Four women, three wealthy and successfully paired and one an unmarried former teacher who gave it up to be a maid, interact as their lives go haywire to various degrees and their friendship with each other stands as the sole saviour of their sanity. Screenplay writer Catherine Keener (who is, as usual, brilliant) can’t seem to get onto the same page with her emotionally absent husband and creative partner (Jason Isaacs), successful fashion designer Frances McDormand is in a rut that is showing itself physically on her unwashed hair and Joan Cusack, married to a millionaire, has no idea what to do with all her money without feeling guilty about it. They’re all concerned about Jennifer Aniston, a pot-smoking house cleaner who has run out of reasons to treat herself well and is in a destructive relationship with Scott Caan. Holofcener’s superb pacing keeps it believable and entertaining throughout, with only a far-too-abrupt ending and the unevenness of Cusack’s conundrums in comparison with her co-stars’ getting in the way of it being the masterpiece that Lovely And Amazing was.