Fierce People Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 19, 2008
I purchased this from Amazon for something ridiculous like $3 as part of a buy one get other two cheap deal. It wasn't a movie I had heard of or expected much from, but I figured it was pretty cheap and had a younger Kristen Stewart in it, so I would give it the benefit of the doubt and just sell it on if i wasn't impressed. (And I expected not to be).
What a pleasant surprise! This was a really quirky little low budget film - highly original and dealt with a topic I have never seen dealt with in a movie before (I won't say what and spoil it). You see this particular situation in movies with girls all the time, but not boys. It was very well done. This was really a unique film in that it is funny and serious and sad and surreal all at the same time. I have never seen anything else like it.
Anton Yelchin is very good here, as is Kristin in a smaller role.
Definitely one to check out if you like unusual films!
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2009
Intensely stupid movie that I caught on Sundance (they constantly make me question why I still keep them on my cable package, but then they show a Cassavettes marathon and I renew them). I can't believe that talented actors like Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland read this script and think it can work (I was wondering if they owed Griffin Dunne something or just thought he was a nice guy). The movie starts out OK (exposition in dialogue is becoming a curse in film today), but then in the middle becomes a mind fuck of a movie with absolutely retarded twists (some of which you see coming a mile away). I am just glad I fell asleep towards the end and awoke to know exactly how this thing would end. Waste of talent all the way around. This is why people should stop smoking weed when they think it's making them a better writer.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2007
Subject matter turned very heavy about halfway into the film, but ends very nicely. I liked it...
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2008
Are the customs of a rich family like those of a primitive South American band of natives? That is the premise of this movie. There are those in the rich family who stop at nothing to protect their interests. The movie is better than most these days.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2008
good cast, mediocre film
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2010
A mildly interesting look at how a kid who has nothing to call his own would respond when thrown into a situation where he is surrounded by people who are incredibly wealthy. Liz Earl (Diane Ladd) is a massage therapist who is struggling to keep it together when circumstances force her to seek refuge with the incredibly wealthy Ogden Osborne (Donald Sutherland), a man she once treated when he was hospitalized. Her son, Finn (Anton Yelchin), meets and becomes friends with Ogden's granddaughter, Maya (Kristen Stewart). The film was good at setting up the premise, and developing the relationship between the two teenagers, but the film seemed to lose its way part way through. Instead of a gentle coming of age story about two people from completely different backgrounds, it became a dark, psychological thriller with patricide and sexual deviancy and a host of other twists that left this viewer somewhat bewildered. The unifying thread is the performance of Anton Yelchin. Without him, this could have been an unbearable mess. However, given the cast, including Elizabeth Perkins as Maya's mother, this film should have had a whole lot more going for it. The fierce people of the title may refer to this "tribe" of the super-wealthy, or it may only be a reference to the tribe that Finn's absent father studies in South America, but as a film, this was a disappointment.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2007
Peculiar dramedy takes uneasy turn at its midpoint.
Super Reviewer
½ September 13, 2009
If you had told me beforehand I'd include it in the same sentence as 'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys' or 'The Chumscrubber', I'd have laughed and said that was unlikely. But this deserves to be on that short list of dark, quirky, and emotionally moving independent films.

The movie surrounds Finn (Yelchin) who has to stay home from a South American summer vacation where he was to meet his anthropologist/explorer father for the first time. This is after he is caught with cocaine for his drug addicted and alcoholic mother (Lane), and circumstances have them staying in a guest house at the wealthy sprawling NJ estate of businessman Osborne (Sutherland). While there he falls in love with the billionaire's granddaughter (Stewart), becomes friends with his grandson (Evans), and a number of other sometimes rich and sometimes off-kilter characters.

There are dark themes and serious contexts (wealth/class issues, human nature issues) present throughout, with spats of dark humour the first half of the film. The second half hits you like a brick wall, and was one of the most shocking and unexpected turns I've enountered in any film, and all but completely abandons the lighter side and humour found in the first hour.

I always wondered where Yelchin came from, and now I know. This is clearly his break,and the same could be said about Chris Evans and even Kristen Stewart (although this came shortly after Speak). Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland, and Elizabeth Perkins seem to take a backseat to Yelchin and the younger cast, but bring a lot of depth to their roles and the film.

This movie is a perfect reason not to trust critics and to go with your gut. It's been so long since I've uncovered a movie like this, and given it was out so long without me seeing it, it makes me want to dig around and see what else I'm missing.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2007
Interesting film, good performances.
Super Reviewer
½ January 1, 2008
An intriguing movie! Great story plot about the hardship a mother and her son, endures, and struggles with. Great cast of actors, especially with young Anton Yelchin. Phenomenal. Although Chris Evans's character is a little on the creepy side. Nonetheless, a great movie and worth watching every now and then.
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2008
Fierce People's dissection of the parallels between South American tribes and the American elite is outrageously less relevant than it promised to be. Even worse, an act of ritualized violence that occurs halfway through the movie trades what might have been an interesting point of view for a bleak sentimental claptrap. What results is a collection of hit-or-miss scenes, that said many of which impress by their remarkable panache and witty dialogue. A host of talented performers, in particular Sutherland, render this lukewarm exercise in behavioral study tolerable, but the overall impression leaves much to be desired.
½ June 29, 2011
What starts out as something of a quirky drama about a middle class mother and son finding their way among the idle rich ends up taking a strangely nasty turn towards the end of the film, which I think prevented me from rating it any higher.

Had the message been anything beyond 'rich people are awful' I might have felt like it had more going for it, but as it stands it squandered any good will with a fairly predictable 'twist' that plays into the background of the boy's father.

Possibly worth a look for Diane Lane or Kristen Stewart completists.
May 15, 2011
This film needs help, but it was decent. Some disturbing plot points end up slowing the better sides of Yelchin's and Evans' acting. The soundtrack is notable.
January 17, 2009


twisted and meditative,high society is
portrayed in a tapestry woven darkly;filled with plot twists,it satisfied,it surprised.
January 17, 2009
fuck kill

this film was twisted and absorbing.

Contrasting the mores of high society with the blunt savagery of primitive tribes, "Fierce People" takes an inside look at the upper classes and their strange ticks and dark self -destructive , destructive practices.

i wonder if high society is all this fucked up....?

i,ve loved anton yelchin ever since i watched hearts in atlantis, he's really talented.

i love how this film depicts a boy(Sixteen-year-old Finn) learning the hard truth about life and finding himself along the way.

the cast was fabolous(donald sutherland is so amazing, he just steps in front of the camera and gives a great performance every time).

kristen stewart was very cute in this movie...

chris evans is a funny actor, creepy to, but funny.
½ September 25, 2008
Kristen Stewart (Twilight's Bella) was amazing as Mia and the reason I watched this at all. I am following her rising career but I first noticed her in Zathura. She gave her role far more depth than it needed just by presentation and it made me want to see more of her films. This should be mature audiences. for makeout scenes, native nudity, and drug/alcohol usage.
½ August 29, 2008
With his chemically dependent mother (Diane Lane) trying to find her soul again, young Finn (Anton Yelchin) is taken away from an ideal summer in the African wilds with his anthropologist father and is forced to travel to the vast estate of billionaire Ogden C. Osborne (Donald Sutherland) to help his mom sort herself out. At first reluctant to participate in his palatial surroundings, Finn is quick to fall under the spell of the Osborne family (Chris Evans, Elizabeth Perkins, and Kristen Stewart). Learning the ropes of aristocracy, it's only matter of time before Finn comprehends that money and power are only masking the bottomless pain of this seemingly perfect family. Fierce People attempts to offer a criticism of the wealthy in a more explicit manner by making numerous direct comparisons to the lifestyles of the native tribes (seen in videos made by Finn's father). Diane Lane gives a solid performance in her role as Liz, and keeps us guessing about the character by providing new elements with each scene. Donald Sutherland is just splendid as the wealthy Osborne, he is more or less playing the same role that he plays in the television show Dirty Sexy Money, though this film came considerably before. The young cast fares quite well, also. Yelchin is convincing and sympathetic in the lead role, Chris Evans does an interesting alternate version of his Ivy League character from The Nanny Diaries, and Kristen Stewart is quite likable as Finn's girlfriend. Fierce People is an excellent example of films being made for the right reasons. Not because it's going to make everyone rich, and not because it's going to win a plethora of awards. Fierce People exists because it is an interesting story, interestingly told. No need for massive effects, massive sets, massive promotional budget or massive push of Happy Meal toys. It is what it is, a slice of someone's life, who deserves better and learns the hard way that being allowed in to the gates of aristocracy doesn't make one an aristocrat.
½ September 7, 2008
An attempt at creating a parallel between traditional tribes and the modern day rich failed to really muster anything truly insightful. The story had no flow, and felt more like a collection of random scenes involving wealthy people engaging in asinine activities. I never got a feel for the complexities of the characters, and their actions often made no sense with the previous character development. Although the audience is constantly reminded visually that the characters are supposed to embody a South American tribe, their actions and relationships don't truly fit in with this premise. And to cap it all off, Anton Yelchin's attempt at narration felt like a perennial whine.
September 5, 2007
OMG was awsome! I LOVE Kristen Stewart! Man, at the end he said he finally met his dad, but he never said what happened between him and Maya. *sighs* They were cute together, so I imagine them together....
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