Honestly I was not expecting much from this film that decided to watch probably because Natalie Portman was on top of my mind after her honors in this award season. Before her amazing role in Black Swan I did not enjoyed much her performances and since this movie was done before -surely was released to take advantage of all the buzz- I assumed that film was going to be similar to her previous ones. On top Lisa Kudrow whom I also don’t enjoy much was also here. Still, I gave it a try as lately have the need to watch easy-to-watch movies.
With all the above out of my system let me share that you have no idea how wrong I was.
Natalie performance is one of her best –not as good as in Black Swan, but close- in a dramatic role as a troubled woman carrying too much baggage from her far and recent past which makes her today quite sarcastic, especially with her stepson William. Portman has an unattractive character maybe as unattractive as her character in Black Swan, which makes me think that probably she feels more comfortable playing this type of roles thus making them more believable. But Portman shines with this pas de deux between her and Charlie Tartan who plays young William; yes, is her movie but Tartan also shines and makes Portman shine. Then Lisa Kudrow character is awful, loud and even when was a bit overplayed, I did like her performance. Is the husband, Scott Cohen who was on the not good acting spectrum which was a true shame as could have made movie more compelling.
Film tells the story of Emilia (Portman) that recently lost her just born child, trying to make a family with her husband and his very special –and lonely- son; she’s the second wife and is seen as the home wrecker especially by William’s school moms; she’s a disaster with William, with her husband and with herself. You try to understand Emilia, sympathize with her but she will make it hard until slowly, very slowly more details are revealed and then you will be not only inside the story but also very shocked. Still it’s an American movie so yes, has a happy ending.
Does not hurt that story is set in Manhattan and New York City looks quite nice in many scenes; but this is a film to watch because Portman performance and the strong drama in a nice film by Don Roos.
I like the movie, a lot more than what I could expected and I do recommend it to those that enjoy surprisingly good dramas with the plus of a remarkable Natalie Portman performance that makes everything believable.
Watch trailer @MOC (please be aware that trailer tells story TOO MUCH and in order, which is not the case with the movie)