36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Nora Gets Real,
This review is from: Broken English (DVD)
Nora (the usually whacked-out though always effective Parker Posey) is a late 30's Guest Relations manager in a groovy NYC hotel. She is at the end of her rope relationship-wise having spent the bulk of her romantic life avoiding love and having love avoid her. We all know a Nora: hungry for a man, a relationship but when a "good catch" (whatever that means to Nora) comes near, Nora thinks of a hundred reaasons why it wouldn't work and retreats behind the emotional wall she has psychically built for herself: a wall of regret and lame excuses held together with the cement of many years of tears and self-loathing.
Her mother, Vivien (the National treasure and director ZoŽ Cassavetes' mother as well, Gena Rowlands) encourages her to grab life by the neck and shake it until it releases something good and so Nora, uncharacteristically attends the party of one of her co-workers and in the process meets a laid-back, good-natured Frenchman, Julien (Melvil Poupaud of "Time to Leave") whose "Broken English" has Nora confusing his saying "I'm hungry" with "I'm Angry."
Nora and Julien spend an idyllic weekend in New York and director Cassavetes manages to avoid all the usual clichés as Nora basically freaks out, pulls back and unfurls again both emotionally and physically while Julien watches, reacts in a calming, encouraging manner much to Nora's surprise who is both attracted and repelled by Julien's coolness.
"Broken English" is a small film not likely to attract much attention but that would be a shame because what Cassavetes has managed to do is to make not only the ridiculous sublime but to also make, in it's quiet, well observed way... the sublime human and believable.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 29, 2007 8:20:27 PM PDT
Concise and comprehensive, Michael. I can't wait 'til this one hits Boise's arthouse theatre. Happy to see you got off the beach to write this one. ;) JP
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2007 10:18:39 PM PDT
haha! i do get sun afterall i am in cali but the sun iget is usually a stolen 20 minutes here and there on my roof.
broken english is a beautiful little film about something small but manages to be about something big and meaningful.
zoe cassavetes is afterall gena rowlands and john c's child: talent is in her genes.....
Posted on Jun 30, 2007 7:51:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2007 7:52:07 PM PDT
Posted on Jul 7, 2007 10:25:56 AM PDT
does this film have any similarity to "lost in translation"?
btw your new image posted is reminiscent of an out of costume actor from "apocalypto" or "300"
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2007 5:04:27 PM PDT
thanks, i think. i only wish that i were as buff as the 300 guys much less the apocalypto dudes.
Posted on Jul 10, 2007 7:55:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2007 1:49:19 PM PDT
I'd be lucky to get into a commericial--let alone the movies you've mentioned. It looks like Michael has given up brie cheese, I'll bet though. -JP
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2007 8:21:11 PM PDT
Posted on Jul 11, 2007 9:26:12 AM PDT
LOL Yup. The French have it right: Do everything, but never super size it and take your time between every swallow. JP
Posted on Sep 11, 2007 9:36:48 AM PDT
Andrew Ellington says:
Hehe, looks like we have a major difference in opinion when it comes to this film...Maybe I just need to watch this again but I couldn't get past what I feel it was trying to accomplish and what it failed to deliver in my book...
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2007 9:34:39 PM PDT
we can still be ammy friends and not agree on all films or on any films for that matter.