Sunday 17 October 2010

Movie Review: Lovely, Still

This "small" film, supposedly made for $5 million, is a charming story of love at Christmas for an elderly man played by Martin Landau and the lady from across the street, Ellen Burstyn. The film plays out over a week but packs a lot of story in such a short time. Without giving a spoiler alert, there is a plot twist that I for one did not see coming. I don't want to say too much but I was reminded of the poignancy of the film The Notebook.

This film turns out to be the feature debut for the newcomer Nicholas Fackler, also known as Nik Fackler. Lovely, Still showcases his talents as both the film's director and its writer. I am reminded of another film, Easy A whose screenwriter Bert V. Royal was also making his 1st attempt at writing and succeeding admirably.

As an aside, Martin Landau is 82 and Ellen Burstyn is 78. A story about older characters requires older actors and we have actors who have talent. Burstyn won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1973 for the film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Landau won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Ed Wood in 1994.

It is a curiosity about this "small" film that it does not yet merit an entry in Wikipedia. (Jun 29/2013: there is now a small entry) In fact, in checking the entries for the individual actors, the film is not mentioned in any biography. Obviously it is so small; it seems to be off the radar for those contributors to this free online encyclopaedia. I trust with the success of the film this will change. However, let me say that success for a small more independent film certainly doesn't translate into the numbers we sometimes see for the mainstream cinema. Hopefully, this film will earn a profit as profits may be dictating whether the next company decides to bankroll a production.

Lovely, Still is currently showing at the Carlton Cinemas on Carlton close to Yonge Street. This theatre, like the Cumberland is noted for showing "smaller" films, more of what one might call arty films. I would add that anyone who is a true movie buff should not rule out these theatres and what appears on their marquees. Ofttimes there are some real jewels to be found in the out of the way. Ah yes, I almost forgot to add that the ticket price was a mere seven dollars, quite a bit cheaper than the "regular" theatres. And apparently on Tuesdays the Carlton offers any and all films for only $5. The individual theatres are small but comfortable; not exactly "sightline seating" but quite good nevertheless.

Charming, poignant, well acted, well filmed. No car chases, no explosions and no hero tackling a half a dozen bad guys single-handedly but an interesting story nonetheless with, as I said, a plot twist. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 70% which means the film is marked "fresh" or worth seeing.


Rotten Tomatoes: Lovely Still: 73%

Wikipedia: Lovely, Still
Lovely, Still is a 2008 Christmas-themed romantic drama film starring Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn.

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database): Lovely, Still


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