Union Square (2012)
An unexpected reunion between estranged sisters, one is on the verge of marriage; the other is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Both struggle with truths they're hiding from each other - and from themselves. Jenny has rejected her tumultuous family and cut off communication, seeking a more ordered life far from her roots in the Bronx. And she's almost ready to commit to her longtime fiancÚ when her sister Lucy - the personification of all that Jenny has been trying to flee - surprises her at a critical time. Lucy and Jenny's combustible reunion brings both of them to unforeseen places, shattering and reconstructing the worlds they have both carefully constructed. -- (C) Dada … More
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Critic Reviews for Union Square
It is intended for an audience that is willing to take a journey without knowing the destination.
The kind of character-driven movie about whacked-out characters we need more of (the characters and the movies).
Mira Sorvino is very good -- too good -- at playing a very annoying person in Nancy Savoca's Union Square.
Propelled by a rangy, superbly colorful performance by Mira Sorvino, the film grabs hold of the viewer from the jump and snowballs toward a deftly moving and concise third act.
It doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is - a slice-o'-life domestic drama/dark comedy of manners savvy about its limits and sufficiently disciplined to keep its convolutions to a credible, impactful minimum.
Sorvino brings a spark, but neither she nor Patti LuPone, in an amusing cameo, can overcome the clockwork-like plod to the end.
A half-sketched tale of familial floundering, Union Square is a suffocating and pantomimed drama that makes an especially unconvincing and headlong dive into sentimentality in its finale.
Long stretches of "Union Square" are kind of irksome to watch, as you just have to wait for all the bickering and chatter to calm down in order for the true drama to begin. But once we get to the emotional boxing, we see how hurt these women really are.
The film is undone by the fact that both protagonists are obnoxious caricatures.
Just when it seems to be going [for] an amusing family Thanksgiving comedy, it zings sharply (and awkwardly) into exposing raw emotions from painful wounds sisters share.
A solid performance piece for two actresses that don't often get meaty material to tear into.
Often funny and emotionally observant study of contrasting sisters has good performances, especially by Tammy Blanchard and, in a tiny but telling role, the transcendent Patti LuPone.
Character-driven drama about two estranged sisters who reach a point where they must choose either reconciliation or permanent separation from each other.
Audience Reviews for Union Square
Nancy Savoca came on strong with her feature debut in 1989 called TRUE LOVE. I was an instant fan. While I thought her followup DOGFIGHT was an admirable failure, she's really struggled ever since to get projects going. Trust me, I feel her pain. With UNION SQUARE, she's cobbled together $100,000, an Oscar winner, an Emmy winner, and a 12-day schedule to see what happens.
With UNION SQUARE, she's gotten so much of it right that it pains me to be so lukewarm about it as a whole. Let's start with the good. When you want to attract great talent like Sorvino, your script better have juicy, playable moments for an actor. Savoca, here with co-write Mary Tobler, deliver that completely. Sorvino plays a desperate woman who barges in on her estranged sister and pretty much takes over her life. Dumped by her married boyfriend, Sorvino's character has a hair-trigger temper, a need for attention, and a palpable sense of grief. The character may be annoying, but Sorvino is at the top of her game here.
Same goes for Tammy Blanchard, so wonderful as the young Judy Garland in LIFE WITH JUDY GARLAND. Playing the rigid sister, she reveals hidden layers, and to watch them come off is truly a joy to behold. There is an abundance of truth in this film, difficult to watch, yet jaw-dropping in its accuracy.
Unfortunately, I couldn't help notice that what we have here is essentially a filmed play. It's mostly 2-4 characters sitting around a room talking, and talking, and talking. Last year's CARNAGE was the same, to even worse results. At least UNION SQUARE didn't start out as a play, or else I'd chalk it up to an adaptation that was never properly opened up. Instead, we have an ultra-low-budget film which was most likely conceived as such. Savoca probably said, "I have an apartment, and some great actor friends, so let's put on a show!" Nothing wrong with that - in fact, it's admirable. It's just not terribly exciting filmmaking. But, if you wanna see a Tony-worthy play at movie ticket prices, then UNION SQUARE is your man!
The film was so so. It reminded me of two films, Pieces of April and In Her Shoes. Those films were better than this one. The film had the same look and style that Pieces of April did. Mira Sorvino's character reminded me of Cameron Diaz's character in, In Her Shoes. While, Tammy Blanchard's character reminded me of Toni Collete's character in, In Her Shoes. I was surprised by the short running time of this movie. The pacing is also a little off. At times, the film feels like a stage play.
The best part of the film are the performances. Mira Sorvino does a great job here. I would love to see her in more roles. Tammy Blanchard is good here too. Both her and Sorvino have a great on screen chemistry as sisters. Michael Rispoli and Patti LuPone are good in their supporting roles.
On a personal note, Union Square is one of my favorite hangouts in NYC. I loved seeing it on the big screen in this movie.
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