Wherever You Are (Lifelines) (2008)
Lifelines examines an extraordinarily stressful day in the life of the dangerously dysfunctional suburban Bernstein family. Mom Nancy (Jane Adams), a schoolteacher, is unable to handle the constant barrage of hostility from her three children. Husband Ira (Josh Pais) is ineffectual, but tries to convince Nancy that her addiction to coffee isn't helping her anxiety. Older son Mikey (Robbie Sublett) is a stutterer, and barely able to express himself under the best conditions. Middle child Meghan (Dreama Walker of Gossip Girl) flouts whatever restrictions her parents place on her, inviting her boyfriend for overnight visits, while youngest child Spencer (Jacob Kogan of the 2009 Star Trek) suffers from ADHD, and needs to be handcuffed to the car to get him to participate in a family outing. The family visits a therapist, Dr. Livingston (Joe Morton), where Ira reveals that he's leaving Nancy because he's discovered that he's gay. Just when the family appears ready to fracture irreparably, Dr. Livingston calmly takes them into his office, one at a time, and finds a way to get each of them to communicate with him. But the painful confessions he elicits may prove too much for their already fragile family bonds to withstand. … More
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Critic Reviews for Wherever You Are (Lifelines)
Terrific performances rescue it, from Adams' wounded exhaustion to Pais's comical confusion and Walker's furious defiance, all hurled against Morton's patient 'listening' and advice.
Lifelines is an insufferably over-familiar take on angst in affluent suburbia.
Lifelines is a tiny movie, made for $385,000, but it strikes enough strange chords to make it resonate.
Written and directed by Rob Margolies, Lifelines starts promisingly, but soon gives way to a compressed, schematic psychodrama endemic.
Most of the movie is merely excruciating, until a late revelation elevates it into the realm of the sublimely ludicrous.
The film's befuddling direction and tone, queasy HD interiors, and tin-eared, often preposterous, screenplay prove disastrous.
Although its really not much more than a 94 minute therapy session for the dysfunctional family from hell, this psycho-dramedy does have something going for it, with several nicely etched performances and some pungent scenes.
A refreshingly honest, intelligent and captivating drama brimming with warmth, tenderness and razor-sharp humor.
One of the most exquisite images on screen this year was the lovely face of the brilliantly talented Jane Adams, who plays the mother of a profoundly dysfunctional family.
Lifelines pitches its tone of suburban purgatory early, with nerve-wrecked matriarch Nancy staring at the camera while sing-songy yearning for a rope to hang herself with.
The first hour of "Lifelines" (AKA Wherever You Are) is as powerful as any movie I've seen in a long time.
The story produces a gamut of emotions from comic to tragic. This film is touching and occasionally powerful. If one can get by the early negative characterizations, it eventually rewards the viewer.
...a surprising, downright gripping drama revolving around a seriously dysfunctional family.
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