Film review – New York, I Love You (2009)

28 May 2010
New York, I Love You: Mitzie (Cloris Leachman) and Abe (Eli Wallach)

Mitzie (Cloris Leachman) and Abe (Eli Wallach)

A collection of New York set short films about love, New York, I Love You is overall an improvement on the similarly themed Paris, je t’aime, made by the same producing team. While there is no film as strong as Alexander Payne’s final film from the Paris collection, the overall standard of the New York films is more consistent and the films are better integrated with each other. There may be an over reliance on stories featuring couples bonding over cigarettes and Brett Ratner’s prom date episode is truly abysmal, but otherwise this is a worthwhile short film collection.

Natalie Portman stars in Mira Nair’s touching film about cultural divides and Portman also directs a very simple yet sweet film depicting a father/child relationship. Shekhar Kapur’s beautiful and sad film starring Julie Christie, John Hurt and Shia LaBeouf, in a surprisingly touching performance, is another highlight. The collection finishes strongly with Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman as a cantankerous old couple who, among the Woody Allenesque bickering, share a brief moment of intimacy. Director-ensemble films are never fantastic but New York, I Love You does have a few moments worth savouring.

Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 354, 2010

© Thomas Caldwell, 2010

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Film review – Away from Her (2006)

16 October 2007

Writer and director Sarah Polley adapted Away From Her from a short story by Alice Munro specifically for Julie Christie (Doctor Zhivago and more recently Finding Neverland). Christie is astonishing as Fiona, a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as is her co-star Gordon Pinsent (The Good Shepard) who as her husband Grant must first send her to an institution and then cope with the fact that she develops feelings for another patient.

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