The Good Life (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Good Life (2007)




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Movie Info

Mette Beckmann was the wife of Valdemar Beckmann, the son of a wealthy Danish family who owned a successful shipbuilding firm in Portugal; Valdemar inherited his family's fortune, and Mette lived a life of luxury from that point on, while their daughter, Anne Mette Beckmann, grew up free of want. The Beckmanns spent most of their time in Portugal, where Valdemar lackadaisically looked after the family business, but in 1974 the Portuguese government nationalized his business, and the Beckmann fortune was suddenly wiped out. In 2007, Valdemar died, and since then Mette and Anne have lived in a tiny apartment on the Portuguese coast, trying to get by on a small pension and simmering with resentment for one another. Middle-aged Anne is angry that her mother and father never taught her how to make a life for herself, and elderly Mette is bitter that the life of privilege she once knew is gone forever, and concerned about what will become of her daughter. Filmmaker Eva Mulvad profiles a family struggling to get by after decades free of responsibility in the documentary Det Gode Liv (aka The Good Life), which features home movies of the Beckmanns in their salad days along with extensive interviews with Mette and Anne as they struggle to make ends meet. The film received its North American premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Mark Webber
as Jason Prayer
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Critic Reviews for The Good Life

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

While The Good Life is stylistically ambitious and heartfelt, it feels more forced than authentic.

January 30, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

As a director, Stephen Berra makes this all quite palatable, but as a writer, he frequently mistakes platitudes for profundity.

Full Review… | April 28, 2008

You just can't go from darkly morose to uplifting and hopeful in the last 30 seconds of the film without any kind of arc to take you there.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007

Grounded in the rich cinematic tradition of Small-Town America, the film doesn't break much new thematic ground, but it's well-acted by the entire ensemble, which consists of both pros and young thespians.

Full Review… | January 31, 2007

The film spends what seems like interminable hours driving home the brutal truth that the world is better off without Jason Prayer, and, despite the anemic flip-flop of the last twenty seconds, it's hard to disagree.

Full Review… | January 25, 2007
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for The Good Life

Exquisitely written, beautifully sad, and painfully real. This film is not made to create a satisfiable plot or give any sort of closure to the audience. It is a window into the mundane life that could easily belong to the millions of tattered Americans with broken dreams and stunted lives. The acting is superb, especially Mark Webber's. Harry Dean Stanton, Patrick Fugit, Zooey Deschanel, and Chris Klein give incredibly believable performances. People who didn't like this film probably have a general aversion to melancholy and the brutal reality of its vast existence in the world, which is one of the main themes present in this film. Mental illness, unrealized dreams, alienation, and the pain and comfort of death are also explored. It is truly a great watch for anyone who enjoys solemn drama and the calm, hushed intensity of indie films.

Anmol Khan
Anmol Khan

Dark, but good. Really interesting movie and keeps you on your toes and thinking. I love Deschanel in her role... I swear she can pull off anything.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

ZOOEY Deschannel is really opening my eyes as a talented look in those eyes of honesty of hers holds me captivated as she goes through the script she held in this epic of a movie...being trapped in her life she found the perfect escape through the befriending and relating with Patric Fugit. This was a good soul searching drama the holds you and surprises you in the very end.

Fascade Fiveoneeight
Fascade Fiveoneeight

Super Reviewer

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