Lovely And Amazing (Holofcener, 2001): Hackney Picturehouse, 6.30pm
This is a fascinating one. A subjective and personal study, I am Dora is a publication and series of screenings that explore how and why women identify with one another and what this means when the identification is with a flawed or misunderstood character. Their first screening was at the ICA and here they've found an intriguing American indie movie.
Chicago Reader review:
'Given her interest in women's lives and everyday neuroses, Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking) could easily be lumped with the Ephron sisters, but that would undersell her strengths as a writer and director. Lovely and Amazing,
her second feature, revolves around a mother (Brenda Blethyn), her two
biological daughters (Emily Mortimer and Catherine Keener, the movie's
anchor), and the African-American preteen (Raven Goodwin) she's adopted
as a sort of late-life project. Each of these women deals in very
different ways with seemingly trite self-help-magazine issues—all have
body-image problems, all have thwarted artistic aspirations, all worry
neurotically about their relationships with men and one another.
Keener's character uses lah-di-dah flipness as a defense, but when she
drifts into a crazy fling with a teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) we see how
broken and desperate she really is. What keeps all this from being trite
and self-indulgent is Holofcener's willingness to make her characters'
neuroses unattractive and self-destructive instead of cute and