Please Give (2010)

NICOLE HOLOFCENER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 2010.  Sony Pictures Classics, Likely Story, Feelin’ Guilty.  Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  National Board of Review Awards 2010.  Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2010.

Nicole Holocener returns with yet another compelling examination of complicated women.  is excellent as a health care worker who takes care of her mean, cantankerous grandmother while her callous sister () just waits for her to die. Their grandmother’s apartment is owned by their neighbours, two vintage furniture dealers (, Catherine Keener) whose daughter is having some serious issues with puberty. Keener’s flaw is her constant desire to give money to anyone she sees on the street, as anyone with even a slightly tragic story touches an abyss of guilt inside of her that she cannot control. The interactions of these characters (and a few more, including a lovely as one of Hall’s patients) make for the kind of hard-edged but emotional experience that Holofcener does so well, her protagonists crashing into each other without any apologies or excuses. She creates them so well that their flaws are never grating, as each character is imbued with as much sympathy as conflict.  Keener is especially brilliant, yet again the marvelous expression of Holofcener’s emotional explorations, and has rarely looked more beautiful.

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