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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2001!
LOVELY AND AMAZING, 1981
Michelle and Elizabeth are thirty-something sisters living in the superficial, tinsel town that is Los Angeles. Michelle and Jane find themselves taking care of their eight-year old African-American, adopted, sister, Annie while their mother, Jane, recovers from an infection caused by a liposuction procedure. Each of these characters are all personally obsessed with how and what they’re supposed represent in society. We follow each them as they deal with their insecurities in their own specific ways.
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Nicole Holofcener is a writer and director for both television and film. She is best known for having strong female leads in her films. “Lovely and Amazing” is her second feature film. It picked up mixed emotions from the critiques but was received well among the viewers and in result made quite a profit in the box office. The film was also nominated for various awards including “Best Supporting Actress” Emily Mortimer, “Best Female Lead” Catherine Keener, “Best Debut Performance” Ravin Goodwin, “Best Director” and “Best original screenplay” Nicole Holofcener. There were a total of thirteen nominations and three wins.
In the meantime Jane (Blethyn), Mother of Michelle, Elizabeth, and adopted daughter Annie (Goodwin), has decided to get liposuction. Jane isn’t exactly an ideal mother figure for her daughters especially Annie, who is eight and slightly over-weight. Jane let’s Annie do what she wants, which causes her sisters a fair amount of distress. Annie doesn’t exactly have the best of role models around her and it’s clear that her dysfunctional family triggers some unusual behaviour. Jane also wants Annie to grow up knowing about her African-American heritage. Jane finds Lorraine (Ellis), an African-American in her late-twenties. Lorraine becomes Annie’s swimming teacher as well as her “big sister”. When Jane goes in for her surgery she’s only signed in as an out-patient but due to an infection caused by the liposuction she ends up staying in the hospital for a while. Michelle and Jane share the responsibility of taking care of Annie while Jane’s away.
This film entails both Drama and Comedy. It follows four characters who find themselves emotionally stuck at pivotal times in their lives. We’re given a glimpse of these moments and painfully watch as they begin to acknowledge their conflicts. That however, is as far as it goes. This incomplete ending came as a disappointment to several viewers and film critiques but I beg to differ. This film captures specific moments in these characters lives. These moments progress but aren’t resolved within the film. It’s not about the resolution in this piece it’s about acknowledging the problems within ourselves and this is a process that we may never complete. These characters aren’t exactly easy to sympathise with all the time. They merely represent flaws that are within all of us, hence the reason the film may not be so appealing to watch. I see it as an honest piece a piece that, perhaps we don’t want to admit to, but relates to all of us. I understand where Nicole Holofcener is coming from. I enjoyed the film and I took several valuable elements away with me and I hope others will too.