The Upside of Anger
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A sharp-witted suburban wife, Terry Wolfmeyer (played by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominee Joan Allen -- "The Bourne Ultimatum," "Pleasantville"), is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when she falls for her neighbor, Denny (Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Kevin Costner -- "Tin Cup," "Dances with Wolves"), a once-great baseball star turned radio DJ. This leaves her daughters out on a limb as they are forced to juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas as well as their own.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
The key to enjoying "The Upside of Anger" is to understand that it is a black comedy. The film's fault is that that is not obvious. The humor in Terry's behavior is clear, but it's always played straight, which sometimes makes it difficult to know if we are watching a comedy or a tragedy. The film's tone is inscrutable. It has a sense of humor, but at the same time is consumed by Terry's anger. Terry seems to have everything in the world except a husband, whom she apparently didn't love anyway. Her life is remarkably unchanged by his abandonment. Yet she never ceases to feel sorry for herself, and she tries to keep such a tight reign on everyone around her that we feel she might crack.Read more ›
The relationship between Terry and Denny is the main plotline of "The Upside of Anger," but in addition to the missing husband and deciding what is up with this new man suddenly in her life, Terry has to deal with four daughters. Hadley (Alicia Witt) is about to graduate college and has a double-dose of news for her mother. Andy (Erika Christensen) does not want to go to college and just wants to work, which is also news for Terry. Emily (Keri Russell) is a dancer who wants to go to a small arts college, ideas that Terry disparages. Then there is "Popeye" (Evan Rachel Wood), real name Lavender, who is the narrator of the film in those few instances where we cannot be told a profound thought any other way. It is hard enough for Terry to deal with being an abandoned wife without her daughter's throwing an increasingly frustrating number of new monkey wrenches into her life as well.Read more ›
First of all, as practically all reviewers have raved, Allen and Costner are phenomenal. It was mid-way through the film that I realized how superb the acting was, as they were actually making me fall in love with utterly unlikable characters. Joan Allen has long-since been the most underappreciated actress in Hollywood. It was hard for me to watch Julia Roberts walk away with her 2001 Oscar for the lackluster "Erin Brockovich," while Ms. Allen's amazingly convincing performance in "The Contender" went without even a nod. As for the coming award season, yes Charlize Theron was wonderful in "North Country," and I'm sure that Reese Witherspoon will be lovely in "Walk the Line" (or at least I think I'm sure), but come on people, Joan Allen's moment to shine is years past due. But Ms. Allen doesn't carry this film on her own. As stated earlier, Kevin Costner is amazing. I liked his performance in this film more than any of his previous roles. Yes, he has a heart for sweeping epics, and yes "Dances with Wolves" was a great film, but to see him so subdued, and really capturing the essence of this man he was portraying was truly enjoyable to watch. He has reinvented his career.
And finally, all of the whining about the plot redirecting its aim. I honestly don't understand all of the problems so many people seem to have with this. To me, it only made the film all the more enjoyable, proving that in that end, perhaps the only champion to anger is divine irony. Life, fairly often, will throw both at you.
This is a great film and highly recommended on my part.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good film with a beautiful, so worthwhile summary in the form of the narrator's (the youngest daughter) journal entry at the close of the film.Published 6 days ago by Jennifer H.
I'm in love with Kevin Kostner. Great movie- what a surprise ending!!Published 17 days ago by Susan DuFour
The dialogue doesn't exactly sparkle like it should for a movie based around people mostly just talking. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jill
Talk about dysfunctional people! All they do is drink. The movie was going nowhere after half an hour so we had to turn it off.Published 1 month ago by Ian MacKellar
“The Upside of Anger” has been praised for being an insightful, tart, adult dramedy, but I found it to be more sententious than insightful, smug and slow-paced than tart and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tim Williams
Delighted to read the long and thoughtful reviews of this excellent film. There isn't much I can add to the praise except to say that there isn't a weak link in the ensemble cast. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Walter J. Jamieson Jr.
This story is rather sad and nervous. The characters including her lovely daughters are well developed and their mother, the co star is outstanding. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pamela E Bradley