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Slipping Down Life Reviews

Joe Leydon
Variety
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January 2, 2009

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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June 12, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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It's interesting, not fascinating, intriguing, not electrifying. But for those in the mood for an offbeat pleasure, A Slipping Down Life may well satisfy.

| Original Score: B

June 4, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Never cuts much deeper than its subject.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

June 4, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Weaves a fragile --- and often funny --- spell.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

June 3, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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A perplexing, dark and brooding exercise.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 28, 2004
Erik Lundegaard
Seattle Times
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Independent films like to equate smallness with authenticity, but sometimes, unfortunately, they're just small.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 28, 2004
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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What at first seems like observed, exaggerated truth soon reveals itself as a series of writerly conceits being followed doggedly to some logical conclusion.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2004
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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Plaintive but exasperating adaptation.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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It's too common to complain that a book is better than the movie. But in A Slipping-Down Life, the score trumps what's on screen as well.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2004
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie is not a great dramatic statement, but you know that from the modesty of the title. It is about movement in emotional waters that had long been still.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2004
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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The director deserves admiration for sticking to her guns, but here's a heretical notion: Maybe the producer's cut would have been a better movie.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 28, 2004
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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A predictable Up-With-People anthem.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 28, 2004
Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
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A Slipping Down Life would disintegrate in a cloud of cutesy, melancholic whimsy if it weren't for the talent of its two leads.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

May 27, 2004
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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This is one of those rare dramas that drops us into the heart of the Dairy Queen/Bible Belt without seeming in the least patronizing or superior.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

May 27, 2004
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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While the movie is content to be merely atmospheric, the performances convince you that here are two misfits who might be a perfect fit.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

May 27, 2004
Tom Horgen
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Offers some egalitarian posturing, but squanders its message by placing capable actresses like Taylor and Hall into age-old, subservient roles.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 27, 2004
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
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Too precious, too self-conscious and far too enamored with itself to ever have any kind of genuine emotional truth.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1/4

May 27, 2004
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Just another tiny movie about tiny people that is destined to find a very tiny audience.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 20, 2004
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The movie's fairly standard plotting comes as a disappointment, because the story -- drawn from an Anne Tyler novel -- has a dark sense of humor and plenty of Southern Gothic charm.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

May 19, 2004
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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[W]hat comes across on the printed page as eccentric and heartbreaking seems forced and self-consciously artsy on the screen.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

May 17, 2004
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A sluggish, tedious film about lost souls living dead-end lives in a dead-end town.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 14, 2004
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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The disorderly film merely chases its tail for the second half, going nowhere fast.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 14, 2004
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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I have not read the Anne Tyler novella from which the movie is adapted, but it is clear from the earliest scenes that Evie and Drumstrings are of a different generation from 37-year-old Taylor and 36-year-old Pearce.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 14, 2004
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
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Kalem does well by Tyler, preserving much of the dusty, small-town tone of the novel and adapting a memorable screen character in Evie, bolstered by a blissfully vulnerable, radiantly melancholy performance from Taylor.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 13, 2004
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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This soggy adaptation of an Anne Tyler novel is full of funny-sad Southern characters who would seem very familiar if they weren't so danged idiosyncratic.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

May 13, 2004
Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
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Taylor and Pearce seem a bit old for their roles, so their laconic connection plays less like the push-pull of youthful misfits than a desperate pact between marginalized washouts.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 13, 2004
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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The movie is rescued by Pearce.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

May 12, 2004
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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In her first film (shown at Sundance in 1999), writer-director Toni Kalem works from a 1970 novel by Anne Tyler, but adds so many tics and frills of indie aesthetic that it's hard to see the swan for the feathers.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C-

May 12, 2004
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