Life During Wartime (15)
The Joneses is small beer compared with this portrait of family dysfunction, a sequel to Solondz's Happiness, though with a completely different cast, including a large contingent of British talent.
Joy (Shirley Henderson), eldest of the Jordan sisters, discovers that her husband Allen (formerly Philip Seymour Hoffman, now Michael Kenneth Williams – Omar Little in The Wire) hasn't completely broken his obscene phone-call habit, and she is still haunted by her dead suitor Andy. In Florida, second sister Trish (wonderful Allison Janney) is trying to put the past and her paedophile husband, Bill (Ciaran Hinds), behind her, and falling hard for a short, fat, ugly man in the process. In California, third sister Helen (an unexpectedly sharp Ally Sheedy) has abandoned poetry for the harder, purer discipline of screenplays and is going out with Keanu.
All this takes place in curiously empty, silent rooms and streets, as though everyone is at work or dead – at times, the latter seems more likely. It's bewitching and clever, but heavyhanded: the camera pans very slowly across a room as a message is left on an answerphone, and long before it gets there you just know that there's going to be a dead body; and the incessant repetition of the word "forgive" – doesn't Solondz trust his audience to get it the first time?
Arts & Ents blogs
Mathew Jonson has been a hero of mine for quite some time now. His timeless piece, Marionette, was o...
We love London for its multiculturalism, so we’re all about that cross-cultural life this weekend by...
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fish Love: Broadchurch star Arthur Darvill poses nude with un poisson
Written on the body: Tattooists at pains to point out their artistic credentials
After 61 films, including The Hangover Part III, Heather Graham admits she still likes to boogie
Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
Roman Polanski shakes Cannes Film Festival
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.