The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (15)

Film

Romance

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jul 7 2009

Pippa Lee may appear the perfect dinner party hostess, but we know different. Fiftysomething spouse Robin Wright Penn has just moved with older husband Alan Arkin to a new house where they’ll spend his twilight years, yet somehow she’s not ready to fade away – not without living a little on her own terms first. Adapted from her own novel, Rebecca Miller’s film turns its heroine’s midlife crisis into a rites-of-passage tale. Thus, Pippa’s dinner party epiphany sparks a mental reaccounting of her formative youth, flashbacks unfolding as complications accumulate in the present: namely, a bizarre (and significant) sleep disorder, plus the troubling presence of an attractive, if damaged, neighbour (Keanu Reeves, most effective as a man sifting through the wreckage of his failings).

No challenge to surmise where all this is heading, but there are pleasures to be had while it takes the scenic route. With the story structure working backwards and forwards at the same time, the lack of tension is no surprise, nor does Miller help herself by flitting through a variety of moods, from period satire, whimsical imagining and character comedy to more sinewy drama. On a scene-by-scene basis, though, it’s classily effective, mainly because of Wright Penn’s skill in nailing the precise tenor of every moment. She’s a great actress, and a subtle one, too. Anyone who can wrestle scenes away from a lovably grouchy Alan Arkin must be on top of their game. Ingratiating, but just that bit foggy.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jul 10, 2009

Duration:

108 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Alan Arkin, Keanu Reeves, Robin Wright Penn

Screenwriter:

Rebecca Miller

Director:

Rebecca Miller

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
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Catherine

I agree with Mark and would echo the more positive bits of the Time Out review. All the performances were excellent, especially the under-stated, compelling Wright Penn who makes a great film even greater. Keanu Reeves was also suprisingly well cast.

Catherine

I agree with Mark and would echo the more positive bits of the Time Out review. All the performances were excellent, especially the under-stated, compelling Wright Penn who makes a great film even greater. Keanu Reeves was also suprisingly well cast.

Mark

A great film: brilliant cast, very well acted, humorous and continually interesting. I cannot understand why other reviews are not as enthusiastic.

Mark

A great film: brilliant cast, very well acted, humorous and continually interesting. I cannot understand why other reviews are not as enthusiastic.

Sutton

Although well acted, the film was a little dull, though maybe I'm not the target audience/market. Arkin and Penn were good. I must admit to finding the story depressing in terms of a life not fulfilled and ruined by others.

Paul

I must admit to nodding off early in the film but then being gripped by it once the story clicked into place. At first it was a tedious selection of characters with no real theme but once Pippa's story started I enjoyed a story of innocence and experience. Not a film for a young audience and more for grey hairs or those who have been through some of life's moments. Certainly laughed at the character played by Winona Ryder who doesn't get much screen time but worked it nicely.