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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Family > The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (2009/Screen Media DVD)

The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (2009/Screen Media DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: C-



Sometimes melodrama can work, but too often, it is the genre to fall most into cliché and the phoniest of traps.  Since Crash, the idea has been if you get enough names, you can get away with weaker and weaker scripts.  Rebecca Miller penned the underrated Proof (2005) for Director John Madden, so why The Private Live of Pippa Lee (2009) does not work as well is a mystery.


Her first directorial effort since The Ballad Of Jack & Rose the same year, Robin Wright plays a woman who is forced to move to a retirement community when her older husband (Alan Arkin) makes them move there.  She is on the edge of collapse when a younger man (Keanu Reeves) shows up.  But instead of a formula film about them, we get a larger formula film with too many characters for her to juggle and the results are sadly all over the place, even when this is intelligent.


Maria Bello, Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci, Blake Lively, Shirley Knight and Winona Rider also show up, but instead of building the film and the realism of the world these characters exist in, it becomes a work in interesting pieces that don’t usually stand on their own and rarely add up.  I can see why the actors signed on, but this must have looked better on paper.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is softer than a new production should be with motion blur and some color limits.  We did not see the Blu-ray before this posting top compare.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also limited in part by its focus on dialogue, which makes it quiet and the surrounds are not engaged often.  Extras include a feature length audio commentary track with Miller and Wright, plus on-camera interviews with Wright, Arkin and Lively.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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