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critics consensus

Set in post-9/11 New York, this largely evocative dramedy interweaves the stories of five disconnected individuals who share an unspoken emotional malaise that shadows their attempts at returning to normal life. Read critic reviews

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The Great New Wonderful Photos

Movie Info

In the year following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, New Yorkers gradually get back to the normal routine of their lives. A successful pastry chef (Maggie Gyllenhaal) struggles to unseat her longtime rival as "queen of cake." A couple (Tom McCarthy, Judy Greer) try to save their marriage and cope with their troubled son. A therapist (Tony Shalhoub) counsels a man who witnessed a violent incident. Two immigrants (Naseeruddin Shah, Sharat Saxena) observe life in the city.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Great New Wonderful

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (11)

  • Not all the little stories and vignettes work (some seem almost pointless), but most of the performances, especially a haughty luncheon under a veil of politeness with Gyllenhaal and Falco, are spot on, involving and revealing.

    August 31, 2006 | Rating: B-
  • It may be the 9/11 movie to which the most people can relate. For most of us, that date wasn't about personal heroics or losing loved ones or survival. It was about processing the impossible and realizing that life, with all its ups and downs, must go on.

    August 25, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Luminous, affecting, and at times humorous take on 9/11's aftermath.

    August 18, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • While the film rarely imparts a true sense of messy everyday feelings and the strife of real life, the fine actors take your mind off the shortcomings.

    August 17, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Set on the one-year anniversary of the twin towers' collapse, the drama interweaves five stories about New Yorkers. It's a testament to the city's resolve to resume life as normal.

    August 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • This is a film that never really says what's it's about, and may in fact not be about much of anything other than the zeitgeist of the era. Which, if you think about it, is plenty.

    July 23, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Great New Wonderful

  • Jan 03, 2010
    Capitalizing on tragedy - blatantly and superficially. The script is too unspecific. It expects the audience to fill in the blanks of these characters' lives with our own interesting anecdotes and vocabulary. There's nothing insightful or different about these people. They're soooo regular. Just regular people dealing with 9/11. A slice of life that is too half-baked. I was hoping to like another Danny Leiner movie, but I guess the only similarity between this and <i>H&K</i> is the Indian demographic. In all seriousness though, I found Satish's and Avi's characters the most intriguing for their seamless melding of Hindi and English.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2007
    Much less crappy than I thought it would be. A handful of good character studies done by good actors made it decent. Especially Tony Shaloub and his A-hole character that he always seems to play when he isn't Monk. Plus Judy Greer is nice to look at.
    Curtis L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2007
    [font=Century Gothic]Set in September 2002 in New York City, "The Great New Wonderful" consists of five separate storylines:[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Satish(Sharat Saxena) and Avi(Naseeruddin Shah) are two bodyguards who go about their jobs.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Judy Hillerman(Olympia Dukakis) is hardly speaking to her husband, when she runs into an old school friend.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]A boy, Charlie Burbage(Billy Donner), has been acting out again.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Sandie(JIm Gaffigan) is visited at work by a psychologist, Dr. Trabulous(Tony Shalhoub).[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Emme(Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a high-end pastry chef.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Great New Wonderful" is a too earnest take on a disparate group of New Yorkers. There is not a lot of story here. Instead, the movie tries to rely alone on mood to convey the state of New York City one year after the 9/11 attacks, but does not come close to succeeding even with a fine cast and some good thoughts about how life is precious.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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