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RE: best supporting actress 2011

 
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RE: best supporting actress 2011 - 24/8/2010 1:59:43 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Like being stuck in an awkward conversation with someone you're desperate to get away from – which is ironic as Greenberg's interactions with people channel this very closely.

As a character study of a man so wrapped up in his own self and his ability/inability to interact with other people – it actually works spectacularly well. The relationships he shares and develops with Rhys Ifans and Greta Gerwig for example, work as they symbolically reflect the differences in Greenberg's inability to control his social decorum. Florence reflects the side of him wanting to resist new friendship yet it's the one that blossoms, whilst Ivan represents the friendship he wants to maintain but is the one that is ultimately doomed to failure.

This interesting approach thematically, as well as strong performances across the board, however, is not enough for the film to succeed...because as with every character-driven drama – they live and die by the sympathies the audience shares with the protagonist. Stiller's Greenberg, is played to such loathsome effect that he's an impossible creation to warm to (and yet, nowhere near as horrible and hypocritical as Woody Allen's shambolic creation Larry David suffers through in 'Whatever Works' – although admittedly, he's funnier), and given that this is a film called "Greenberg” about a man named "Greenberg” – it's a massive problem. It's also a film sold as a comedy yet has virtually no laughs in it whatsoever, and whilst Gerwig and Stiller share good chemistry between each other you never buy Florence's attraction to Greenberg in the first place.

Baumbach clearly is an individual who's an expert in depicting the neurotic individual, so much so that he's created a film that – whilst admirable in its observations and the performances it achieves - is painful to watch and impossible to enjoy. 

3/5


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Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

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2. No
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Post #: 31
RE: best supporting actress 2011 - 24/8/2010 9:05:52 AM   
BOHEMIANBOB


Posts: 1884
Joined: 31/1/2010
From: Dublin
I wouldn't have thought this was being sold as a comedy-i certainly didn't go into it expecting Dodgeball or suchlike(and that was a good thing!).
I agree with a lot you say though.A lot of this is quite frankly,uncomfortable to watch,which typifies Greeenberg himself.
Although it is uncomforable,it is still a fascinating watch of a man who simply engage what he really wants,and in fact destroys it as a defence mechanism.

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Post #: 32
RE: best supporting actress 2011 - 24/8/2010 1:05:25 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
I think those in the know how wouldn't have expected a laugh-out-loud romp, but when I saw the trailer they definitely marketed it as a comedy and no doubt attempted to attract the mainstream Stiller fans - who I imagine would have had a hard time watching 'Greenberg.' 

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to BOHEMIANBOB)
Post #: 33
- 3/11/2010 11:30:44 AM   
reminn

 

Posts: 142
Joined: 22/10/2010
Average.

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Post #: 34
- 18/11/2010 12:33:00 AM   
ARmy2510

 

Posts: 107
Joined: 21/4/2008
Great movie and remarkable performances from Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwing.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 35
RE: - 3/5/2011 12:28:20 AM   
KeithM


Posts: 862
Joined: 31/7/2008
Greenberg

This is a really well written character study about a guy with mental/social issues who house-sits for his brother while they go off on vacation, and how he connects - or fails to connect - with those around him, particularly with the baby/dog sitter assistant Florence (brilliantly played by Greta Gerwig, who's the heart of the film - you can't help but fall in love with her).

Ben Stiller as the lead puts in the best performance I've ever seen from him in a straight dramatic role. No silly punchlines or 'full retard' here, just proper believable acting as a guy who struggles to form relationships with people and the world in general. Rhys Ifans also provides strong support as Greenberg's old band-mate and possibly only remaining friend, again reigning it in and playing it straight to good and, in one scene in particular, particularly moving effect.

It's a touch bleak at times, but very well acted and written (co- by Jennifer Jason Leigh) and definitely worth your time if you like a good, thought provoking character drama.

8/10

(in reply to ARmy2510)
Post #: 36
Well... - 24/5/2011 9:38:32 PM   
guysalisbury

 

Posts: 210
Joined: 3/11/2005
......firstly, the marketing peeps have a lot to answer for. I read nost of the reviews on here first so I knew what to expect, but I think it's really unfair on the people who have paid a shit load to see this at the cinema and really aren't getting what they were shown in the ingredients. The exact same thing was done with Cyrus. I did like this though and it did leave me feeling warm, so I would recommend it to someone who can handle a bit of a slow pace and a few uncomfortable moments. The performances are really good and there are a couple of great tunes on the soundtrack. Enjoy.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 37
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