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Anywhere But Here 1999

PG-13 CC
Available on Prime

Fleeing small-Town boredom, a restless mother drags her reluctant pre-Teen daughter to beverly hills, where they struggle with a new and difficult life until they finally reach a degree of understanding.

Starring:
Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman
Runtime:
1 hour, 53 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Wayne Wang
Starring Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman
Supporting actors Hart Bochner, Eileen Ryan, Ray Baker, John Diehl, Shawn Hatosy, Bonnie Bedelia, Faran Tahir, Shishir Kurup, Samantha Goldstein, Scott Burkholder, Yvonna Kopacz Wright, Eva Amurri Martino, Kieren van den Blink, Jennifer Castle, Caroline Aaron, Bebe Drake, Paul Guilfoyle, Allison Sie
Studio Fox
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
One day I did a weird thing. I went to the cinema and watched this movie by myself. Some people found it strange that I, being a guy, would go see a real girl-movie alone, including the man in the ticket-office who looked really nonplussed and asked me if I really wanted only one ticket.
Well, I did, and I'm glad I did it.
Anywhere But Here is, exactly as its poster says: A movie about a mother who knows best and a daughter who knows better... And it's good.
The story is quite thin: Ann August (Natalie Portman) is a young girl whose single mother Adele (Susan Sarandon) hasn't quite lost her youthful lust for adventure. They move from bay City, Wisconsin to Beverly Hill where Adele hopes to find a better life. But she forgot to take her daughter's feelings into account...
As you might expect, there are lots of emotional outbreaks in this movie, but it never becomes too much. Also, it's refreshingly devoid of sentimentalism and happy-go-lucky lovestories, which makes the story far more believable and worthwhile.
But the main reason for seeing this movie is the divine acting by both leads. Natalie Portman plays the independent daughter that is far more mature than her mother and does an extremely convincing job. That girl is destined for absolute stardom! And while Sarandon is always good, this is no doubt one of her best performances ever. Adele is neurotic and selfish, but still has strength and love for her daughter. A difficult character to play, but Sarandon makes her come to life, swaying from borderline insanity to joyous strength and zest for life. Together, they make one of the best mother/daughter relationships I've ever seen in a movie come truly alive.
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Format: DVD
A provocative, lonely single mother (Susan Surrandon) decides to risk it all and take her teen daughter (Natalie Portman) to Beverly Hills. Her choice causes friction between mother (Adele) and daughter (Ann) and their family back home in smalltown Wisconnsin.
Ann has to struggle with a mother she loves and hates at the same time and to try to survive a new environment, being away from her beloved cousins back home and her mother's whims.
They live from apartment to apartment with hardly two sticks of furniture trying to sustain an illusion of success in Beverly HIlls to the family back home.
The story tests the bonds of mother and daughter who are constantly at odds, but also the only true support they each have. The mother wants to hold on to her daughter and the daughter wants to be "anywhere but here."
A number of scenes will evoke tears from even the most poker-faced movie-goers. The acting is the most beautiful thing about this film. It could have easily been a film that fell on its face, but the good story line and convincing portrayals of the characters make this more of a glimpse into the lives of two people than just a movie.
Some language (nothing beyond today's prime-time TV, however) and sexual inuendo (again, nothing beyond what you'd see on "NYPD Blue"), but no nudity or violence. A lot of tear-jerking reality, though. The DVD offers scene selection, theatrical trailer and a very short featurette... no cast bios or anything. A real shame that the makers of the film didn't include more treats on a medium that begs for behind-the-scenes clips, out-takes, interviews and more. None-the-less, an enjoyable movie.
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Format: VHS Tape
The mother-daughter bond, especially with an only child, is one of the strongest human bonds there is. Some say it's stronger than husband and wife. It tends to be intense and it almost always develops into a situation where neither side has the clear upper hand because both are vulnerable.

And they fight. Tooth and nail. And they love each other intensely. For the mother it is scary because everything is in the daughter and for the daughter, especially when the mother is divorced or single, as is the case here. For the daughter it can be a nightmare because the mother is the adult and has the power and is a total embarrassment. This is especially true when the mother is delusional or dysfunctional as is Adele August (Susan Sarandon).

The story from Mona Simpson's novel is familiar in plot and theme although the details here are unique and especially well done. Adele's judgment is more than suspect and she's careless with other people's feelings, and she's shallow and dresses funny. And she isn't completely aware of, nor has she sufficient respect for the needs and wants of her daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman). She, the mother, wants to leave behind the small town, Midwestern existence and embrace Hollywood and all things glamorous. Ann would rather stay in Bay City, Wisconsin with her friends and family. Mom buys a Mercedes and forces Ann to go with her to make a new life in Beverly Hills.

I thought Wayne Wang's direction was excellent. He used visual clues to introduce the scenes: shots of an still apartment, shots of part of a person, shots of the beach or the highway, etc., and then a focus on--almost always--Sarandon or Portman.
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