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Beautiful Ohio (2006)

William Hurt , Michelle Trachtenburg  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Michelle Trachtenburg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B001DJ7PSM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,145 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In his feature directorial debut Chad Lowe weaves a compelling family drama about William (Brett Davern), a young teenager lost in the success of his older brother Clive (David Call), a troubled high school math prodigy who has begun to drift apart from his parents (William Hurt, Rita Wilson). When William grows attached to Clive's free-spirited girlfriend (Michelle Trachtenberg), he uncovers something that will change the family forever.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Family Finding Itself November 30, 2008
Ethan Canin is one of our more important authors (`America, America', `Emperor of the Air', `The Palace Thief' which became the film `The Emperor's Club') and to discover a screenplay/story by him is a treat. BEAUTIFUL OHIO is a fascinating little film directed by Chad Lowe about an apparently close knit family that knows really very little about each other: it is Canin's purpose to unravel the stories of 'ordinary people confronting aspects of themselves they'd rather not see.' Behind each member's delusions and hopes to ultimately reach the mid-ground of recognition of just how special is each member is where this very tender story travels.

Simon Messerman (William Hurt) is an insurance salesman who happens to read voraciously and speaks in quotations of famous writers and thinkers. His wife Judith (Rita Wilson) is equally bright, quotes as often as William, but adds a flavor of correcting people's grammar and living in a world of her beloved composers (Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, etc). They have two sons - Clive (David Call) is a long-haired math genius who despite his gifts spends his time playing loud hard rock music and speaking in a language all his own, and William (Brett Davern) who is devoted to his more intelligent brother but longs for a sense of normalcy in a family that tends to fragment at odd times. Clive's best friend and the only person who understands his special language is Elliot (Hale Appleman): the two of them essentially keep to themselves and smoke pot while they are not entertaining the 'homeless' Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg). Sandra chooses to live in the basement of the Messerman house to avoid coping with her own abusive parents. The four youngsters are a team of sorts, thought the interrelationship roles each plays is not at first apparent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow paced, but worthwhile December 7, 2011
The tale of two brothers, one average and one a math genius, make this low budget indie come alive, even if the payoff is minimal at best. What's William Hurt doing here? He's not bad, but I thought he would be in bigger films. The whole thing is a little offbeat, of course, and that's why it's worth watching. Not many films are set in as bland a place as Ohio.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story and Fine Acting December 6, 2008
By S. Li
When I grew up, my elder brother was a genius in school, not just Math, but virtually every subject. My parents were consumed with his excellence. Like the yonger son William in the movie, I logned for my parents' and brother's acceptance. It is hard growing up in the shadow of a genius.

This movie might not be for everyone, but definitely a well done one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A subtle title April 20, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I wouldn't call this film a masterpiece or say it is a favorite, but the overall style and development of story and characters was fairly to very good. I enjoyed it enough for a second viewing as rewarding as the first.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok movie, poorly developed story line, weak characters. December 2, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This movie is ok. It is definitely a little strange. Not much action or drama, the character portrayals are somewhat weak. I don' think it is worth spending money to see in a theater.
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4.0 out of 5 stars drama that steps in a different direction January 17, 2013
Beautiful Ohio is basically about a family where each member has their own strengths. The mother prefers professional piano music, the oldest son has a talent for math and numbers, the younger son is the reasonable one with the most common sense, and the father... well, he has issues but at least he supports his family.

The story mainly focuses on the two brothers (and the girlfriend of the oldest brother). Throughout the movie, we're never really sure if the parents are just being extra supportive of their oldest son or whether he really does have an exceptional talent for math. You see, he spends his days sitting around doing drugs, playing guitar and listening to music.

The girlfriend of the oldest brother secretly lives in the basement. Only the two brothers are aware of this, though neither brother ever brings it to the others attention so yeah, it's basically treated as a really big secret. She's played by the beautiful Michelle Trachtenberg (who sort of resembles the current Wendy's girl we see on commercials but with black hair- not the same girl however). She sort of has the hots for the younger brother.

While one could argue there's not much of a plot, I actually think the movie excels at just being a different type of family drama. Something that stands apart from the norm. It's most certainly a drama with subtle elements of humor (such as the father getting drunk and high and making a jerk out of himself at the dinner table in one segment).

What I DIDN'T like is the final 5 minutes. Without giving it away, there's a major curveball thrown here (no pun intended) and the part that comes after... well let's just say, I didn't care for it at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film! December 30, 2011
By Bobcat
The setting for this film is perfect. Quite simply, they got it right. The story,the characters, the world as it was in the early 1970's. It's a beautiful film to watch and it takes you back in time to when some things were easy yet also very difficult. Settle in on a rainy day, grab some comfort food and prepare to be moved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film! December 5, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I thought it was a lyrical and thoughtful piece... Don't know why some reviewers had such strong reactions against it...
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