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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Vlyvalle! ... just stay out of the woods ;), June 29, 2012
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 [1]. 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 [2]. 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.

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[1] 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?
[2] 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.
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Location: CA-United States

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