Thursday, June 4, 2009

SFF Day 2 (Part 2): The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

The second session last night at the Sydney Film Festival was the quitely moving The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

The film is filled with famous names (the grandaughter of Elia Kazan among them) and faces but is dominated by the incredibly delicate performance of Robin Wright Penn and the slightly heavier but equally captivating performance of Blake Lively in the title role (Wright Penn as the elder version and Lively as the younger version).

Wright Penn is able to brilliantly play off the self-absorbtion of her much older husband (played to perfection by Alan Arkin), the manic hysteria of Winona Ryders' friend and the stoic desperation of Reeves as the younger recently seperated son of neighbours from the retirement village her husband has moved them into.

During the course of the movie the layers of Pippa Lee are peeled back to unveil a woman who has spent her life being what others want of her and is strugling (Silently and mostly unaware) against her life slipping away. The film is absorbing and unexpected in the most part and whilst some of the moments don't ring completely true, they have enough echoes of truth to sustain you in the story. The ending whilst expected to an extent is satisfying.

This film again has me again questioning why Wright Penn (who became famous for a Soap Opera) is not more sought for her capability?


LynS said...

I think Robin Wright Penn is such a good actor. I didn't have this film on my list, but I might see if I can manage it tomorrow evening.

gemma said...

Thank you for the review, which is realy useful. I will have to search this one out.

dr k said...

yes i think shes great too. especially as buttercup. hehe. this sounds really good tho...thanks for the reviews!

jp said...

In reply to both LynS and dr k.
She has done some amazing stuff (including The Princess Bride) - but she always seems to be overshadowed by her husband.