Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Andie MacDowell
John Turturro
Michael Richards.
Directors
Diane Keaton.
Screenwriters
Richard LaGravenese.
Running Time
95 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Erebus: Into The Unknown
3 Star Empire Rating
Walesa: Man of Hope
4 Star Empire Rating
Warn that Man
3 Star Empire Rating
West 11
2 Star Empire Rating
We Joined The Navy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating

Unstrung Heroes


submit to reddit


Review
The la-di-da quirkiness that was the trademark of Diane Keaton's comic performances is very evident in the directorial eye she turns on this oddball coming-of-age heartwarmer, scripted by Richard LaGravanese (Fisher King, Bridges Of Madison County) from Frank's book about this normality-free family.


Twelve-year-old Steven, also known as Franz (Nathan Watt) is unable to bear witnessing the wasting disease of his lovely mother (MacDowell) or to connect with his distraught, emotionally inept father (Turturro), a ridiculed inventor and "misunderstood genius". So Steven seeks sanctuary behind the barricaded door of his two maniacally paranoid, colourfully deranged and dishevelled uncles, Danny and Arthur (Seinfeld's Richards and Maury Chaykin). Falling in happily with their craziness, he receives a strange nurturing.


This is an affectionate, funny and lively case for the unlikeliest people becoming heroes. And Keaton handles her appealing ensemble, the early 60s period and child's perspective of tragedy, love and reconciliation with a sure, gentle hand.


But Danny and Arthur, while comic and loveable, are too nutty to be true and will irk realists with a narrow credulity span. Pardon us for being so pedantic as to ask, but how do these weirdoes function, pay their bills or do the shopping? Neuroses, psychoses and fixations, while familiarly wacky and cute in movies, are seldom endearing in real-life. The performances are endearing, though, and the hanky-wringing journey of John Turturro's goofy-sad father Sid is as compelling as the boy's journey from childishness to understanding.




Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Joaquin Phoenix Talks Inherent Vice
Plus co-stars Josh Brolin and Katherine Waterston

Stephen Daldry Talks Trash
The Billy Elliot man on his Rio carnival and training as a clown

Colin Firth And Taron Egerton Talk Kingsman: The Secret Service
Plus Samuel L. Jackson on bad-guy duties

A Brief History Of The Ring
Everything you need to know about the J-horror reboot

The X-Men TV Series: 10 Possible Plotlines
Mutants on a budget? We suggest some ideas for Fox’s new franchise extension

10 Kid-Friendly Marvel Comics That Could Be The Next Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a lot to play with elsewhere in the Marvelverse

20 Sitcom Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)