3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Welcome to Vlyvalle! ... just stay out of the woods ;),
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD)
A professionally trained, very presentable massage therapist (Diane Lane) is raising a son (Anton Yelchin) in New York City. Unfortunately, she also has a bit of a cocaine habit, in addition to a general inability to create a stable environment.
The morning prior to her son's departure to spend summer vacation with his award-winning anthropologist biological father in the depths of the Amazon, she sends him to fetch a recreational amount of her favorite drug. Inconveniently, he gets busted.
To save him from the NYC court system, she calls in a favor from a multi-billionaire client (Donald Sutherland) who makes the charges 'go away' in exchange for becoming his live-in massuese . Now her son will now find anthropological inspiration among a tribe of decadent one-percenters, instead of a tribe of head-hunters. He will discover many similarities. . .
Donald Sutherland plays his role as the warm and approachable control-freak patriarch of 'VlyValle' with precision. Anton Yelchin handles his fairly difficult role with competence.
Diane Lane's performance struck me as tragic. Not because I didn't like it - because I did - but because she seems to be as talented at making any role look good, as she is at finding good projects that release at bad times . I wonder how the film might have fared if it had been released in 2010 or '11? A story about a mother and son losing the thread of civilization & struggling to find it again, on a billionaire's estate might have been recieved better.
 It's interesting that many reviewers have no problem with ridiculously corrupt details like this, yet bristle and whine about portraying the rich as anything less than saintly... 'Stockholm Syndrome' anyone?
 I'm referring to a movie Diane made back in the 'pre-history' of her career - 'Streets of Fire'. She embodied the reigning queen of that 'rock-n-roll fable' exquisitely, surrounded by a cast of blooming up-and-comers. . . Only to see the movie crater upon release.