Life During Wartime (15)
Friday 23 April 2010
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?
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians