Friday, July 30, 2010

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee: Grade C

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)

Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Wynona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore; Writer-Director Rebecca Miller.

Robin Wright’s acting is the star of this little domestic drama. She is married to a much older man (Arkin) and moves to a retirement community with him, where she is somewhat lost. She sleepwalks, takes speed and takes a pottery class. Her husband has an affair. She has an affair. Her daughter becomes a photojournalist. The dog gets hit by a car. Everyone eats cake.

There is absolutely no plot, and as far as I can tell, not much of a story either. It is just a bunch of rich people bumping around, acting stupidly, lacking insight, motivation, or purpose. Wright’s performance is truly stunning, but the character she plays is so dirt-boring that it is even hard to appreciate the great acting. Reeves and Ryder also give excellent performances, and Moore, in a smaller role, is riveting as always. Arkin acts like Arkin, nothing new there but still enjoyable. So the movie is an opportunity to see some first class acting, if you can stay awake through the brain-dead script.

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