Anywhere But Here (1999)

WAYNE WANG

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 1999.  , .  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 1999Toronto International Film Festival 1999.  

The presence of at least one happy scene would have done much for this overly melodramatic film about a young woman (Natalie Portman) being dragged across the country by her ambitious and, she thinks, selfish mother (Susan Sarandon). The performances by the two ladies couldn’t be better, but Wayne Wang’s direction is so intent on making the film as depressing as possible it’s almost as if he’s daring you to enjoy it. In contrast, Tumbleweeds starring Janet McTeer is a similarly-themed film that succeeds so much better thanks to its reliance on humour and a more believable presentation of this kind of troubled relationship. Sarandon truly is amazing, though, and thanks to her strengths the film gets away with more than it should. Excellent supporting performances by  and , plus a cameo appearance by .

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