32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
What a lovely surprise - loved it! It stayed with me for days after. I kept remembering snippets of it. It's not what I thought it was. The story unfolds slowly and subtly clues are dropped that something is more then what it seems. Robert is an elderly guy living alone and he works at a supermarket. Mary is his new elderly next door neighbor. Mary encourages Robert and they start a relationship.
It's filmed in Omaha, Nebraska during the Christmas season. There's lots of snow, which is beautiful and creates one of the most memorable scenes. Robert notices the falling snow and says something like, was it always this beautiful, did we miss it? Mary encourage Robert to live in the present. The acting, the story and the visuals are wonderful. The morning rituals of Roberts waking up and grooming are funny and full of emotion, what a great actor Martin Landau is! There are many funny and poignant scenes. For example, Robert soliciting advice from others on that ever so important first date. Ellen Burstyn, as Mary, is fabulous too in this role. The chemistry between the two seems real. The two main supporting roles of Mary's daughter, Elizabeth Banks, and Robert's manager, Adam Scott, are well acted, interesting, and add depth to the story. A timeless favorite! I highly recommend it. It's ok if you cry!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
I first saw the trailer for this movie quite a while before its release. I wrote down the title, and unfortunately forgot about it. Flash forward a few months, and i see this movie in my recommendations on Netflix. Well, quite frankly it still didn't ring a bell at first, but i went ahead and rented it. Now, i'm younger than 30, male, and pretty open to movies. But when i read the synopsis, i wasn't too thrilled about just another love story. Ellen Burstyn was what made me take a chance.
While watching this wonderful movie, i started out pretty confused. I questioned certain character traits in a few people, but they didn't leave a big enough impression for me to keep agonizing over them. About 10 minutes into it, i started to smile. The two main characters just seemed to be made for eachother, and everything they did just fit. Scenes that would normally make my eyes roll, really touched me. For instance, these two wonderful strangers kiss for the first time, and Christmas lights flash on. Needless to say, my smile stayed on for quite some time. Things just worked for these characters.
Then the pessimist in my questioned how perfect everything was. I've seen my fair share of movies that seem good at first, then turn into train wrecks. However, just when i was expecting the worst to happen, a glimpse of jealousy is shown from Mr. Landau's character that makes me think, "oh, here's the hitch." Which draws my attention away from the normal "it's way too perfect to be like this the whole movie" attitude.
The different characters do very endearing acts for and with eachother, and it's all wonderful again. And then that pesky pessimist in me is tapping my shoulder again preparing me for the worst. Then i think i know whats going to happen, and prepare for it, and it turns out that i was yet again completely wrong.
Again, everything is back to normal, and then i have to prepare for the worst. By the time the big reveal, the main reason this movie is so brilliant happens, i'm completely suprised, and taken aback, because this time i simply didn't prepare for it. Everything was fine and i had this movie figured out. Nope. Wrong.
This movie was great for several different reasons. The characters are all very likable. Even when they aren't likable, you don't dislike them. You just ask yourself why they are acting this way. Watching these people, is like hanging out with very good friends who you know well, and even when they are jerks, you forgive them, because you know the real person behind the anger, or confusion.
I purposely didn't put much of anything in this review, just because to give anything away to anyone who is considering on watching this, is a crime. This movie needs it's vewiers to be completely ignorant of any information before watching it. I did however want to convey my emotions, and thoughts i had while watching it, because very few movies take me by surprise anymore.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
This is an extraordinary movie. I can't believe the director is so young - his wisdom is way beyond his years. Landau and Burstyn are luminous and un-Botoxed in this haunting drama about what true love really is. Be sure to watch very carefully as the details give insight into what is quickly revealed at the end - that is how everybody is really related. I have been thinking about it daily since I saw it. You will never forget it!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
"When I saw you everything fit. It was like breathing."
I hope someone someday says something like that to me. If you have heard those sentiments, bless you. Like the one who loves you, your love brings light into the world.
This is a sweet wonderful film. It begins gently. Give it the time. If you do, it will weave it's magic, capturing and cradling your heart as the story unfolds before you.
I especially liked the scene in which Mary (Ellen Burstyn) asks Martin (Martin Landau) to spent the next day, Christmas Day, with her. Martin, looking sad and pensive as though he's looking into the past, replies that he has never spent Christmas Day with anyone. Mary pauses. Looks up at him, and seeing his mood says cheerily, "So is that a "yes"?" With those fives words she acknowledges his mood, and nudges him back into the present moment. It's a moment that offers a future together as a sweet promise.
And to top it all off, the music is wonderful.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
LOVELY, STILL (2010) is one of the most touching, moving and frightening films I have ever had the privilege to watch. Set in Omaha, Nebraska in a neighborhood that reminds me of my own, this is going to be a tough film to review. To begin on a hard note: why are such great films always "art-house" things that get seen mostly in Canada? Why did this $5 million dollar film rake in a lousy $4,500 opening weekend and gross a total of under $125,000?
You tell me ... after you've seen it!
My perennial favorite and legend Martin Landau stars as Robert Malone, a gaunt, lonely old man who seems haunted by his lack of a life and soul. He's a sweet old man, to be sure, and he gets along well enough - but it seems like he's traveled such a long road all by himself. He bags groceries at a local little market and makes his way home each day; it's an unbreakable routine one would expect of a mentally disabled person. Well, we can see Robert is normal ....
Robert meets Mary (Ellen Burstyn), whom he first sees at work. Soon they are dating, and the scenes with Robert seeking dating advice are laugh-out-loud. Landau, everyone forgets, can be fall-down funny one moment and quite frightening the next. His goofy boss Mike (Adam Scott) is a portrait of incompetent fun. Mary's daughter Alex (Elizabeth Banks) is a beautiful yet apparently tormented creature. There's a lot happening here that you wouldn't begin to believe.
Yet all I can tell you is it happens too often - every day, to too many people. You must see this funny, heart-warming, heart-wrenching film and discover why we are who we are. Nothing more may be divulged, or it will really sort of dampen your first viewing of the film. If you've seen it already, you'll KNOW how good it is.
More importantly, you may discover some secrets you never thought you could understand.
With incredible cinematography, a color palette that surges according to the mood, and a charming, quirky soundtrack to pull it together, this may be one of the finest films I have ever seen.
Not certain if I'll ever decide the answer to that, I tell you: get this film and experience it for yourself. You cannot afford to miss it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I saw this movie nearly two years ago and have watched 150+ movies since, yet it haunts me with its beauty. It was playing at a film festival that I attend annually and was my favorite out of more than 25 movies I caught that year.
First off, this movie was especially well written. If you are tired of the regurgitated swill that Hollywood increasingly produces this will definitely appeal to you.
As you watch the movie, the characters are well developed and honest. They could be your neighbor or a friend. The acting was exceptional and believable as an elderly man slowly loses his ability to connect with the world around him.
But beware -things are never what they appear on the surface.
If you like a good love story that doesn't need sex and violence to "enhance" your enjoyment, this qualifies as an experience to be savored. The plot line is well developed but provides a surprise that few will foresee.
Furthermore, several of my movie friend's stated that when watching it a second time, you catch greater subtleties within the premise of the movie and that they actually enjoyed it even more. What could be a greater endorsement from serious movie aficionados?!
It's a definite must see, in fact, I enjoyed this as much as "Love Story". Oh and don't forget to bring some tissues!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
This movie breaks my heart in so many ways. It is so close to my life experience that it almost hurts to watch. The main character has a disease which causes him to forget everyone around him. They never quite say this is Alzheimers and that's a good thing because I believe the character is suffering from the same disease as my father which is Lewey Body Syndrome. He forgets everyone close to him but can still function on a daily basis, albeit under the watchful eye of those around him. My father does not know my mother any longer and thinks she is a lady we hired to take care of him. This mirrors the situation of the main characters in so many ways. I won't give out any spoilers but will say this movie is so full of beautiful, tender moments of two elderly people simply trying to reconcile the cards life has dealt them and the children trying to understand the reasoning of their actions. If you have elderly parents, this is a must see. If not, then do yourself a favor and watch a magical little movie that will break your heart.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2010
Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn are perfect for this film and are so natural in their roles. This really is a terrific movie for the entire family and a great holiday movie. I'm ordering a few DVDs for my family and as early Xmas gifts!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
I'll be short and to the point here. This film was so beautifully done and so well acted. The ending was a surprise as I, like others, thought it was heading another way. It was a lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon and it has stayed in my thoughts days after. Brilliant job by the incredibly young director.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
This is a very well acted and beautifully crafted film. Unfortunately, it is promoted as a tender romance between two lonely older people when it is actually the very sad story of an aging couple trying to somehow cope with the devastating impact of dementia. It is human, it is honest, and it is powerful; but it may not be a movie that you would choose for a romantic evening with your beloved. This is particularly true if both of you have reached the age when dementia becomes a serious concern. My wife of 45 years and I both found the ending to be deeply troubling.