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The Talent Given Us

The Talent Given Us (2004)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 21

The Talent Given Us is an odd hybrid of reality and fiction, but works due to its engaging characters.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 6

The Talent Given Us is an odd hybrid of reality and fiction, but works due to its engaging characters.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 104

My Rating

Movie Info

Fact and fiction begin to blur in this comedy drama in which a filmmaker casts his parents, his siblings, and himself in a story loosely adapted from their own lives and personalities. Judy and Allen Wagner (played by Judy Wagner and Allen Wagner) are an elderly couple living in New York City who haven't seen their son, Andrew (Andrew Wagner), in some time. Deciding it's time they paid him a visit, Judy and Allen pack up their van and head out to Los Angeles, where Andrew is trying to make a



Andrew Wagner

Mar 7, 2006

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Latest News on The Talent Given Us

November 26, 2012:
Fox Plans Susan Boyle Biopic
The talent show winner's life story is tentatively titled "I Dreamed a Dream."


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All Critics (55) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (21) | DVD (1)

Faux documentary, home movie or unexpurgated family therapy? The Talent Given Us, a funny, surprising ride with a mercurial New York clan, is all three.

October 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The notion that there is no escape from one's family is elevated-and ameliorated-by the inkling that the Wagners' story is, in fact, real.

October 13, 2005
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, the movie isn't as strong as the idea behind the movie, or the people inside that idea.

October 7, 2005
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What initially seems hard to watch, even excruciating at times, becomes hard not to, a fascinating fiction that seems to be more real than just about any actual documentary you can imagine.

October 7, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you enjoy HBO's cult hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, you're almost guaranteed to enjoy this bawdy, heartbreaking, deeply discomfiting mockumentary.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A brave, funny, affecting film.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a self-indulgent, utterly painful film that attempts to explore all sorts of genres, but it fails.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The ranting, whining, kvetching, self-involved family begins to outstay its welcome [...] so that time spent with them can feel like entrapment at a raucous bar mitzvah reception.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The unwashed talent and originality of "The Talent Given Us" makes it a compelling and fascinating film.

December 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Maybe Andrew Wagner was hoping they would be endearingly human, but instead they come off as annoying, hardly the type of people we want to be stuck with for an hour and a half.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The result is a funny and sometimes touching docu-comedy, sort of like watching your parents if they were in the middle of a Woody Allen movie.

October 14, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

[A] one-of-a-kind movie that sends the family road-trip genre happily spinning into these self-obsessed, overanalytical times; it's National Lampoon's Vacation as re-imagined by Dr. Phil.

October 13, 2005
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

Andrew Wagner's deeply original, awe-inspiring The Talent Given Us defies classification, another mongrel marvel traducing the boundaries of documentary and fiction.

October 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Newcity

Deftly embraces some of the trademarks of documentary and cinema verité (using handheld cameras and non-actors, and shooting all on location) to effectively blur fact and fiction.

October 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

It's tough to describe The Talent Given Us, which is why it's fascinating.

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Amounts to something like a home movie, offering more interest and entertainment inside the subject brood than it would to outsiders.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

What starts out seeming courageous rapidly reveals itself as a narcissistic, opportunistic stunt.

September 4, 2005
Groucho Reviews

travels to some very unexpected places with its warts and all dissection of a family dynamic

August 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Intermittently funny and grating.

August 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

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