Fireflies in the Garden (2011)
Critic Consensus: Despite boasting a stellar cast, Fireflies in the Garden is just tedious, dull and predictable melodrama. Instantly forgettable.
To an outsider, the Taylors are the very picture of the successful American family: Charles (Willem Dafoe) is a tenured professor on track to become university president, son Michael (Ryan Reynolds) is a prolific and well-known romance novelist, daughter Ryne (Shannon Lucio) is poised to enter a prestigious law school, and on the day we are introduced to them, matriarch Lisa (Julia Roberts) will graduate from college-decades after leaving to raise her children. But when a serious accident interrupts the celebration, the far more nuanced reality of this Midwestern family's history and relationships come to light. -- (C) Senator … More
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as Jane Lawrence
as Lisa Taylor
as Young Michael Taylor
as Morgan Duncan
as Jimmy Lawrence
as Flight Attendant
as Christopher Lawrence
as Officer 1
as Rev. Byers
as Social Worker
as Ryne Taylor
as Kelly Hanson
as Charles Taylor
as Young Jane Lawrence
as Michael Taylor
as Leslie Lawrence
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Critic Reviews for Fireflies in the Garden
This histrionic family drama must have looked good on paper to attract such a big-name cast, but on the screen it comes off as glib, rushed, and underdeveloped.
The emotional effectiveness varies from moment to moment between not pushing too hard or simply not pulling hard enough.
A dreadful exercise in navel-gazing that resides in a particularly trite corner of Pat Conroy-ville.
A dispiriting rehash of dysfunctional family clichés that seems to last longer than Thanksgiving Day dinner.
The actors are all good and a few scenes -- an opening family argument, a crucial battle when Michael finally fights back -- are painfully moving.
Audience Reviews for Fireflies in the Garden
Great cast. Willem Dafoe, and Ryan Reynolds, really pulled this one off well....This is what "Tree of Life' could have been, had it not decided to be "cool & artsy!" This film was much more enjoyable. Even though it dealt with issues that most people find very disturbing, I think that it was handled very well. Not a "feel good" movie by any means.....
Cast: Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hayden Panettiere, Ioan Gruffudd, Shannon Lucio, Cayden Boyd, George Newbern, Chase Ellison
Director: Dennis Lee
Summary: In the wake of an unexpected family tragedy, novelist Michael Taylor (Ryan Reynolds) is forced to confront his fractured relationship with his father (Willem Dafoe) while dealing with painful memories of his mother (Julia Roberts), a woman who moved mountains to protect him. Emily Watson, Hayden Panettiere, Ioan Gruffudd and Carrie-Anne Moss also star in this semiautobiographical tale of rage and redemption from writer-director Dennis Lee.
My Thoughts: "I loved this movie. The cast is amazing right down to the young children acting in it. Great performances by them all. The story goes back and forth from past to present and really does a great job at putting you in this emotional, dark, tragic story. Willem Dafoe was brilliant at playing the father. It has to be his best performance in a movie that I have seen him in. It's a beautifully made film. I am a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, he is a talented actor with the gift for being able to pull off any genre. Julia Roberts is another one of those actor's. She was great in this as was Carry Moss and Emily Watson. See it if you get the chance."
Better than I would expect from something starring Julia Roberts. Not high on my list to watch, but I am glad I did. Similar in tone to "The Squid and the whale", this follows a dysfunctional family and goes back and forth in time, mainly sticking with Michael, (Ryan Reynolds), who is now a romance novel author and slightly dour. When his parents are involved in a car crash and his mother, (Julia Roberts) dies and his father, (Willem Dafoe) is injured, he barely seems to show emotion. As the movie goes on and we see what his childhood was actually like at the hands of his father, we start to understand why. There is nothing overly shocking here, more mental abuse than anything, and it did seem like there could have been a little more to this movie, but on the whole it was good and very well cast. Willem Dafoe in particular, I found creepy here, though that could just be his face! I did not recognise Hayden Panettiere as the younger Jane, (his teenage aunt), but she was very good also. Also Emily Watson and Shannon Lucio. I did not really like Carrie Anne Moss as Kelly, but then I never do like her as an actress especially.
Fireflies in the Garden Quotes
|Jane Lawrence:||Meat is murder.|
|Young Michael Taylor:||Get away from her.|
|Charles Taylor:||Who are you, Mommy's little protector? [grabs the baseball bat from Michael's grasp]|
|Michael Taylor:||Look at my watch. When those numbers line up, it reminds me to tell my mom I love her.|
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