Best in Show: Noah Wyle
One for the future: Julianne Moore
Stand-out scene: Icetop revelation
Brainer or no-brainer: Brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a
Decent American films these days are a bit hit and myth (*groan*) and this indie effort is definitely a quality effort. Well-rounded characters, a decent screenplay and a realistic storyline are the key ingredients of a movie worth watching and this has all three in spades. ER's Doctor John Carter, Noah Wyle heads up an impressive ensemble cast, the scene in which he swears coming as a bit of a shock after eleven years of hearing only PG-language coming from his lips. He plays Warren, eldest son of a disparate family going through the ritual of Thanksgiving dinner. The family is headed up by Roy Scheider and Blythe Danner and also home for the holidays are prickly eldest daughter Mia (Julianne Moore) and her partner, Jake and youngest daughter Leigh (Laurel Holloman). Warren has never got over breaking up with his childhood sweetheart and during the course of the vacation old family wounds are reopened and loose ends tied up. Written and directed by Bart Freundlich, the screenplay has a theatrical quality to it which means that this is a well developed ensemble piece and the actors make brilliant use of the opportunity afforded to them to impress. Julianne Moore executes her difficult role with precision and Wyle proves that there's more of a range to his acting than that he's displayed as a County General doc. This augurs well for his post-ER career, the actor no doubt hoping to go the way of George Clooney rather than Eriq La Salle. Anybody who has been part of a family knows that the dynamics therein are ever-shifting and this is a more convincing slice of family life than i've previously seen on screen. Good effort.