Judy Berlin

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Time Out says

Ever feel that life's passing you by? Perhaps the torpor afflicting David (Harnick), a 30-year-old failed film-maker who returns home to Long Island, is infectious, because his parents (Kahn and Dishy) seem to be suffering from related conditions. 'I feel like I'm still 14,' his mom reflects. 'I just don't know what I'm doing,' his father repeats, on the verge of acknowledging his amorous feelings for a fellow teacher, Sue Berlin (Barrie). Babylon is that kind of a town where nothing much changes, David reminds himself. Then he bumps into an old face from school, Judy (Falco), and of course they reminisce. But Judy still has plans for the future. The film's grainy b/w visuals take on a luminous, poetic quality in the second half, when an eclipse plunges the town into darkness. That's the most obvious 'artistic' moment, and perhaps the most heavy-handed. The film's virtues are quiet and self-effacing - the director's sensitivity to body language and personal space, his respect for each of his characters. Marry the finely tuned, mature sensibility with a droll comic touch and you have the makings of a film-maker of rare distinction.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

94 mins

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