Fireflies in the Garden

Film, Drama
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
When a first-time writer-director attracts a cast of Hollywood luminaries including Willem Dafoe, Ryan Reynolds and Julia Roberts, the assumption is that the material must be something special. And it’s easy to see how ‘Fireflies in the Garden’ might have looked good on paper: a heartfelt, painfully personal melodrama loaded with conflict, grief and sudden bereavement.

The story starts promisingly enough, with that reliable dramatic chestnut, the reunion. Estranged son Michael (Reynolds) returns to the homestead to find that his mother (Roberts) has just died in a car wreck. But this is the first and final surprise of Dennis Lee’s script, which ticks off every cliché in the family saga playbook: overbearing dad, moody teen, cute next-generation kiddies, clandestine affairs, alcoholism and resentment. It’s not a bad film – Lee directs with subtle grace and the cast is predictably strong – but it’s saddled with too many characters, not enough drama and a strong sense of overfamiliarity.



Release details

Release date:
Friday May 29 2009
99 mins

Cast and crew