The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
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Synopsis: After nearly two decades under the wing of an aging, avuncular husband (Alan Arkin), dutiful mother and housewife Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) undergoes a midlife breakthrough. Unearthing the sexually curious wild child of teens (as portrayed by Blake Lively), middle age Pippa sparks a relationship with a divorcee loner (Keanu Reeves). The Private Lives of Pippa Lee features Wright Penn in a revelatory performance as a resilient woman, refusing to let life pass her by.
Written by award-winning screenwriter and director Rebecca Miller, daughter of renowned playwright Arthur Miller.
Critics are saying it is Robin Wright Penn s tour de force performance and award buzz has already begun! the difference between growing old and growing up.
Produced by Plan B Entertainment, Brad Pitt s Production Company!
Written and directed by Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a film that, like Thelma and Louise and those that have followed in its footsteps, seems best suited for women who yearn for a little adventure. The female characters in this film are better developed than the male, which on one hand makes one more sympathetic to Pippa and her plight, but on the other hand makes it difficult to imagine any man watching the movie with interest. The story focuses on Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn), a middle-aged woman married to an older man, publisher Herb Lee (Alan Arkin), with whom she feels bored and disconnected. Flashing back through time, scenes depict Pippa as a young girl (played by Madeline McNulty), then as a rambunctious, drug-addled twenty-something (played by Blake Lively). Some scenes, set in the 1960s and 1970s, feature Suky Sarkissian (Maria Bello), Pippa's hyper, dysfunctional mother, acting out her suburban housewife malaise to imply that boredom among married women is a contagious curse. Before Pippa Sarkissian gives her hand in marriage to the chauvinistic Lee, a few fun, original scenes do occur that spice up this generally tepid film. As Pippa leaves her childhood home, she encounters the most dynamic characters in the film, her Aunt Trish (Robin Weigart) and Trish's girlfriend, Kat (Julianne Moore), who teach her what it means to relish sexual freedom. However, Pippa grows into an uptight and unhappy woman who is only slightly rescued by her neighbor's son, Chris (Keanu Reeves). Since the film portrays a woman who is rather dull, it unfortunately suffers from a lack of passion as well. Still, the moments in which Pippa's surviving family does succeed and thrive may remind the viewer of that old phrase carpe diem. --Trinie Dalton
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a sad movie in the end, because it really is what happens to children who didnt have the proper guidance, they tend to grow up into broken adults and in return become a mess of a parent sometimes. It is hard to fight who you are if you have no proper foundation which is what happened to Pippa Lee because of her mother. Her issues were projected at Pippa and in turn Pippa lost her sense of self early in life, never got the chance to know her and develop her sense of worth. And of course I am a Keanu Reeves fan so he can do no wrong in my book.
The story is about Pippa Sarkissian (Wright) - who would later become Pippa Lee --, an attractive woman with a troubled past, reaching middle age, who is trying to get her life together. Her mother Suky (the always dependable Maria Bello) was moody and addicted to antidepressants, and was repulsed by Pippa when she was born, because she was hairy. However, this situation improved throughout the years, and Suky got very attached to Pippa. Unfortunately, her mother's problems persisted, and Pippa eventually had to leave home. After some time living carelessly by herself, she finds Herb Lee (Alan Arkin), a man thirty years her senior, who happens to be a successful publisher. They get married and life appears to be good for everyone. That is, until Pippa's past begins haunting her -- a situation that is worsened by her current problems.
This is a real life drama, spiked with humor, especially provided by Wynona Ryder, in a surprising supporting role. It examines a woman's life that "keeps swinging back and forth from generation to generation, getting it wrong." Robin Wright shines as Pippa Lee, and Arkin as her husband. The magnificent cast also includes Blake Lively (as Pippa in her younger years) Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore, Shirley Knight, and Keanu Reeves. The Blu-ray edition includes commentaries by Wright and Miller, and interviews with Wright, Arkin, and Lively. (USA, 2009, color, 98 min plus additional materials)
Reviewed by Eric Gonzales exclusively for [...] on March 1, 2010.
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