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You Can Count on Me
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 2-MAY-2006
Media Type: DVD
- Cast/Crew Interviews
Top Customer Reviews
My mother recently committed suicide. My father died seven years ago of cancer. I'm 34 years old, and I am seen by my two sisters as the f-up brother. I can honestly say that I can totally relate to this film.
Laura Linney is dead-on as a sister who is trying to live a "normal" life; work at the bank, pick up the son in her SUV, and believe in God, about 15 years after the sudden tragic death of her parents. Her brother is immature, unreliable, can't hold a job, and smokes an awful lot of pot. She is the "caretaker" in the sibling relationship. But, as the film unveils, she certainly can't take care of herself. And the f-up brother isn't as worthless and stupid and selfish as he is supposed to be.
This is a real film about real people dealing with the extrodinarily frustrating and painful task of carrying on after a tragic family loss. And they go on. They continue, the best they can.
There is dysfunction and then there is dysfunction. Some of us know what a real dysfunctional family is. And we're not whiners. We're heroes. And this film is for us.
Words such as "masterpiece" and "genius" are incredibly overused these days, but I'm prepared to make the following statement: The screenplay is a masterpiece and Mark Ruffalo is a genius. (And Laura Linney, bless your soul, you are a damn fine actress.) Let me take a quick crack at supporting this statement, so that you can get on with the business of watching this movie instead of reading my review.
1. THE EDITING: Lonnergan's orginal screenplay chalked up 125 pages, which translates into roughly 125 minutes screen time. AFTER the final edit, Lonnergan RETYPED the screenplay (only a devoted writer and parent would do such a thing) and it yielded 95 pages. Now anyone who has written anything at all can tell you THIS IS SOME MAJOR CUTTING. And for the viewer it means a TIGHT, DIRECT, and WONDERFULLY VISUAL movie. To see what the hell I'm talking about, just check out the crash scene at the beginning of the film and specifically the moment when the policeman struggles to get a word out on the front porch. CUT!! You don't need to see anymore. Lonnergan trusts the audience to put the pieces together and the film moves on. It was at this very early point in the film when I saw it at the theater that I sensed the brilliance to come. And was not let down. You can probably find 20 moments where the scene ends EXACTLY WHERE IT NEEDS TO. (A comparable film in this respect is "Days of Heaven.")
2. BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS. That means complex characters. Characters who are not ALL GOOD or ALL BAD. Characters who behave in predictable and sometimes highly unpredictable ways, much like you and me.
3. SUPERB ACTING. You just don't see such nuanced performances like this every day.Read more ›
Laura Linney plays Sammy, a single mother and bank employee. When her troubled brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) returns to town, Sammy's life and relationship with her young son (Rory Culkin) become complicated by Terry's influence. Sammy has to juggle this domestic situation with controversy at work, where her anal-retentive boss (Matthew Broderick) is making lives miserable.
The story sounds simple, but Lonergan's intelligent script really brings us into the lives of these characters. And the performances truly make this film worth seeing. Linney carries the lead role with passionate grace, and has great chemistry with her screen brother Ruffalo. Broderick delivers a wonderfully multilayered performance as a character who is at times pathetic, at times sympathetic, and at times downright infuriating. And Culkin is a revelation as the young son; this is one of the best performances by a child actor that I have ever seen.
"You Can Count on Me" deals insightfully with a number of relationships: mother/son, brother/sister, boss/employee, pastor/churchgoer, and more. Lonergan deftly blends moments of both heartbreak and hilarity into a richly satisfying whole. If you want to see a serious adult drama with some sparkling comic moments, check out this film--it's one of the year's best.
The key relationship here is between a brother and a sister. Orphaned as children, they've grown up counting on each other. Now they are in their thirties. The sister, Laura Linney, is a single mother of an 8-year-old boy, played by Rory Culkin. She works in a bank in their hometown in Upstate New York, and has made arrangements with her boss to use part of her lunch hour time to pick up her child from school and bring him to a baby sitter. The brother, played by Mark Ruffalo, has left home years before. He's a drifter who always needs money, impulsive and boyish and loveable all at the same time. His young nephew adores him, especially when he takes him to a pool hall one night.
The sister has stuff to contend with. There's a new branch manager Matthew Broderick, where she works, the kind of idiot boss who forces the staff to refrain from using bright colors on their computer screens because it doesn't represent the dignity of a bank. There's her son wanting to know more about his real father than she wants to tell him. And there's a marriage proposal from her long-term boring boyfriend. The brother's arrival is a catalyst for turmoil.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable movie! Both Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo did a great job in their roles. Heartwarming!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Realistic brother-sister conflict. Seen just such things in my real life, sadly. Drunks can ruin everything.Published 8 months ago by AlchemystAZ
One of my favorite films from that time. Ruffalo is so great in it. Great writingPublished 8 months ago by Damian Jungermann