Postcards from the Edge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Postcards from the Edge Reviews

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½ May 31, 2017
I prefer "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds," which is basically the nonfictionalized version of "Postcards."
March 12, 2017
Suzanne Vale is an actress with a drug problem. One day she overdoses and ends up in hospital and then rehab. After coming out of rehab she manages to land a role in a small-budget movie. The producers insist that she live with her mother for the duration of the movie, to ensure her sobriety. Her mother, the world-famous actress Doris Mann, is hardly the best role model...

On paper, this movie had everything going for it: based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Carrie Fisher with screenplay also written by her, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Meryl Streep as Suzanne and Shirley MacLaine as Doris. With that semi-true-story background and those big names involved, surely it should be brilliant?

Well, no. It's not bad, but it feels strangely flat. It's really just a linear story with no great drama or profundities, though there were plenty of opportunities for both.

It does have its comedic moments but it's hardly a laugh-a-minute.

Therein lies the problem, I suspect. By trying to be both a comedy and a drama it succeeds at neither.

Not that this is a terrible movie, not by any means. It is never dull, moving along at a good pace, the ending is pretty good and Meryl Streep puts in a great performance (for which she got an Oscar nomination). It just could have been so much better.
½ February 14, 2017
A very well written script by Fisher and superb acting, especially by Streep. This is sad, real and heartwarming entertainment.
½ January 28, 2017
I love Meryl Streep and Shirley McLaine
½ January 26, 2017
Smart comedy paired with a stellar cast carries along Postcards from the Edge when the plot starts to drag its feet.
January 22, 2017
Seeing this for the first time following the recent deaths of screenwriter Carrie Fisher and mother Debbie Reynolds it was even more poignant, powerful (and at times quite funny). Well worth seeing.
January 15, 2017
Saw the movie. Also saw it a long time ago but did not know it was about Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher.. I saw Debbie Reynolds back in early 1951 when I was a soldier in Camp Roberts California. She was 18 then. I also saw quite a few of her movies over the years and recently on DirecTV. I did not know all these facts about her till her death & Carrie. In my opinion Meryl Streep was fantastic in her last song Checking Out. I have heard Meryl sing before. She is such a good actress. It looks like the Olde Trumpster was wrong when he said she was the most overrated actress in Hollywood. A very fine singer also.
½ January 13, 2017
Carries extra weight now that we know how the "real" story ends.
½ December 30, 2016
Moderately average at face value but elegantly touching when connecting Fisher and Reynolds in this challenging tale of sobriety and success.
December 28, 2016
A pair of great acting by Meryl Streep and Shirley McClane. The movie rings a huge pang with the recent news of the passings of both mother and daughter which the novel by Carrie Fisher is based on. RIP.
December 9, 2016
Postcards from the Edge is an well-acted movie that is at the same time funny and sad, but that in the end of the day its two main actresses can be charismatic enough to superate some uninteresting and cliched scenes.
½ October 3, 2016
Streep & MacLaine are so funny and are just a blast to watch. I couldn't help to feel like that film could've been much deeper than it came off to me, but I still enjoyed watching it.
August 26, 2016
Great film, Streep and MacLaine make the best duo.
½ April 2, 2016
The screenplay isn't so deep on the drama or funny enough on its comic side but Meryl Streep's typically mesmerizing performance carries the movie on its own.
March 27, 2016
Insightful, poignant, heartfelt and hilarious - Carrie Fisher bared it all in her source book, and it shines thru the performances here.
June 20, 2015
A fun movie with great performances from Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. Carrie Fisher's writing is great and Mike Nichols does a good job directing it with some great musical moments for Streep
½ May 22, 2015
The movie's "set up" is very false, but Carrie Fisher's script is sharp, witty and entertaining. Most importantly, this film works thanks to Streep and MacLaine who really bring it all to life.
½ May 3, 2015
Una maravilla ver a estas dos maestras juntas haciendo con maestría el buen script de esta película.
½ April 29, 2015
Really terrific performances all around, and a genuinely endearing and funny script. Overlooked and underappreciated, definitely worth "Checkin' Out."
January 5, 2015
Based on the real life relationship between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher with Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep in the respective roles, Postcards from the Edge sounded like an intriguing look at Carrie Fisher's story.

Postcards from the Edge is a strong film because of the fact that it deals with edgy material in such a straightforward and yet humourous way. The subject matter in the film is very confronting, and the lighthearted nature of the film manages to make it easier to handle since the blunt realism in everything is both dramatic and funny in its own ways. The general mood of the film is easygoing which is beneficial in its own way because it ensures the film makes for easy viewing, but as a whole I feel like this kind of approach is both hit and miss.
Postcards from the Edge doesn't exactly confront its material in the best possible way though. It deals with themes of recovery from drug addiction, a complicated mother-daughter relationship and the way that people are treated in Hollywood, particularly women. By confronting these concepts in a lighthearted manner, Postcards from the Edge overlooks a lot of dramatic potential in favour of a less melodramatic angle which is admirable in parts but also means that the dramatic effect of the film is limited at times. It is not always as strong as it can be, and this is a general consensus for the film for better and for worse. For me, the film felt somewhat distant and that it didn't explore its characters or particularly the relationship between Suzanne Vale and Doris Mann as well as it could have. There was much more focus on the Hollywood scene than the more deep and complex elements of the characters which made Postcards from the Edge somewhat shallow in its own way, and considering the fact that it is based on a semi-autobiographical story about Carrie Fisher's relationship with her mother Debbie Reynolds, I felt that Mike Nichols didn't precisely capture the edge of the story. I can't say for sure because I have never read the source material, but I will say that the film intrigued me enough to go out and do that because there was enough charm in it to make for reasonable viewing. It isn't perfect and the material certainly hasn't aged perfectly, but it still contains a distinctive charm which comes into play thanks to Carrie Fisher's screenplay and the handling that Mike Nichols gives to it. He is one of the strongest driving forces in bringing the material to life, and while he may not do it perfectly, he is certainly able to achieve that with a sense of style under his belt. Under his direction, the subject matter of the film is brought to life and is given an interesting mood which keeps things entertaining even if the events are not as entertaining as they could have been.
The one thing which never has any trouble coming to life in Postcards from the Edge is the exceptional cast, led by the always magnificent Meryl Streep.
Meryl Streep is a great lead in Postcards from the Edge. As an actress who has made a name for herself performing in very complex character parts, it is intriguing to see her in the role of an actress because it makes the reality of the film more encouraging, and she just sinks her teeth into the role. She captures the part with edge in terms of both comedy and drama, and she shares a remarkable chemistry with every other cast member in many different ways. Meryl Streep constantly keeps the spirits alive in Postcards from the Edge with a performance rich with charisma and of her tension in every situation be it for the drama or the laughs, and she is able to make her part a really likable one which illuminates her natural spirit as an actress. Her physical involvement in the character is impressive because she always seems on edge in one way or another with Suzanne Vale, and it is a very interesting step for her as an actress.
Shirley MacLaine is also strong. What she presents in her role is a sense of something being hidden in the subtext of her relationship with the daughter of her character, while on the surface she maintains a likable demeanour. It is artificial, but gleefully artificial to the point that the only time viewers are likely to remember it is when there is a true confrontation that goes on with her character. Shirley MacLaine takes on the role well mainly because of the fact that her chemistry with Meryl Streep is thoroughly impressive since both actresses are able to benefit from each other's charismatic talent really well. The interactions of the two Academy Award winning actresses is thoroughly impressive to behold because the two of them remain so consistently passionate about the material the entire time without failing to deal with it for a second. While Shirley MacLaine may not have as much screen time as you might hope for an actress of her calibre, she has no trouble making an impact during her small quantity of time and contributes to characterizing Suzanne Vale nicely.
Dennis Quaid is also good. The actor continues to impress me with every role he takes on, and even his small part in Postcards from the Edge is great because of the chemistry he shares with Meryl Streep. There is a certain sense of passion that goes on between them, and the young charms of Dennis Quaid make him an easily likable foil whenever he is around. He has a passionate spirit to him and a distinctive sense of charm which makes him a mildly interesting presence.

So Postcards from the Edge is not the complex mother-daughter film that it could have been, but with Mike Nichols' stylish direction and Meryl Streep delivering a powerful leading performance, there is enough to make it an entertaining experience.
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