Saturday, July 25, 2009

Away We Go: Either You Love It...

..or ya don't. One man's honesty and sincerity is another's navel-gazing, and the truth isn't always pretty.

But I loved this poignant, achingly funny small independent film by a Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes ('American Beauty', 'Revolutionary Road'), which concerns a couple about to have a baby and searching to put down roots somewhere.

They visit friends and family near and far, to check out their lives and surroundings, usually with surprising and unsettling results. The leads are terrific, with John Krasinski of the Office, nerdy and uncertain but sincere, and Maya Rudolph, ex-SNL, wistfully calm but harboring old pain.. The screenplay by Dave Eggars and Vendela Vida is by turns hilarious, quietly observant, and genuinely moving. Here's the trailer.

Here's a good featurette about the film, in the words of the talented artists that pulled it off....

It's also a great ensemble film, with bitingly funny supporting performances by accomplished veterans such as Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Allison Janney. Here's Maggie with excerpts and an interview..

and here's the female lead, Maya Rudolph..
She's the daughter of the late Minnie Riperton, who died tragically young of cancer, and the husband of Paul Thomas Anderson who directed three movies I love, 'Boogie Nights, ' Magnolia,' and 'There Will Be Blood...'

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