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Cast | Classic Lines | Foreign Titles | Interviews | News | Notes | Pictures | Summary | My Summary | My Review | Together Before

Cast

Character Actor
Alan Baxter Malcolm McDowell
Olivia Sophia Lauren
Natalia Mira Sorvino
Catherine Deborah Kara Unger
John Pete Postlethwaite
Nigel Julian Richings
Alexander Klaus Maria Brandauer
Grocery Store Owner Len Doncheff
Jeb Corey Sevier
Matt Dov Tiefenbach
Kevin Alex House
Rogelio Noam Jenkins
Little Girl Sydney Pearson
George Andrew Tarbet
Hodna Karen Glave
Maria Kathryn Winslow
Max Gérard Depardieu
Ralph Robert Joy
TV Reporter JC Kenny
Amanda Trent Wendy Crewson
Marty Shawn Lawrence
Nikos Richard Blackburn
Les Philip Williams
Detective Gerry Mendicino
Guard Rodger Barton
Trent's PR Man Pedro Salvin
Book Signing Fan Avery Saltzman
Orson Stewart John Neville
Airline Ticket Agent Gloria DiFolco
Little Girl's Father K. Shane Doulton
Little Girl's Mother Maureen Ross Nielson
Stunt Coordinator Alison Reid
Alan Stunt Double Dwayne McLean
Angolan Cover Girl Ngozi Armatrading
Hannah's Voice Elisa Tibollo

Written and Directed by Edoardo Ponti

Classic Lines

Maybe not classic, but all of Malcolm's dialog.

"It's alright. I used to own this store. Yes. My family, we lived upstairs. 22 years..."
"Leave me alone."
"Kathy. You look so much like her. Don't do this to yourself. Think of your family. I'm not worth it. She'll be right there. It's alright, I was just leaving."

Foreign Titles

Brazil - Desejo de Liberdade (Freedom of Desire)
Italy - Cuori Estranei

Interviews

10/7/02 Calgary Sun with Edoardo Ponti
9/18/03 NY Newsday with Sophia Loren
9/19/03 NY Times with Sophia Loren
9/30/03 Associated Press with Sophia Loren

News

Malcolm saw the film in May 2003 and thought it was very good. Edoardo Ponti even came to visit him and Kelley at their house right after. Malcolm fells he is a very talented, lovely guy who is amazing with actors. He got a great performances out of his mother Sofia Loren, Mira Sorvino, Deborah Unger, Gérard Depardieu and Pete Postlethwaite. They heard the film got a seven minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival - people love it. Malcolm plays a victim for a change and is beaten a la ACO in an alley by three punks. 

Sophia Loren will be in New York on Sept. 15, 2003 for the US premiere. She says the role is "appropriate to my age and talent."

Thursday July 26, 2001
FEATURE-Sophia Loren blossoms in son's 1st feature film By Julie Remy

    Loren said she refused in recent years to play in several films because she didn't like the characters she was offered. But the role of Olivia, written for her by her son, was very much in line with her true nature.
    "Olivia is a woman who is very discrete, lonely and closed within herself,'' she said about her character. "It's a very good role for a woman of my age and of my nature.''
    The 67-year old actress, voted the world's most beautiful woman two years ago, won an Academy Award in 1962 for "Two Women'' -- a film produced by her husband -- and last appeared in 1995 with Jack Lemmon and the Walter Matthau in the comedy ''Grumpier Old Men''.
    But when preparing to direct her in "Between Strangers,'' Ponti was mostly inspired by her 1977 interpretation of a housewife in Ettore Scola's "A Special Day'' a psychological drama depicting Mussolini's Italy.
    He asked French actor Gerard Depardieu, known for his epic performance in "Cyrano de Bergerac,'' to play Olivia's ''confidant,'' an eccentric gardener who helps her through her unhappy marriage.
    Award-winning U.S. actress Mira Sorvino plays an American photo-journalist who cannot remember taking the picture that brought her kudos from Time Magazine, while Deborah Kara Unger is a Canadian cellist of German descent who is obsessed with her father, an ex-convict.
    The three women live in the same neighborhood in Toronto, a city that charmed Ponti because of its diversity. Canada's most populous city, he said, is a "mosaic'' where people cohabit in better harmony than in the American "melting pot''.
    The film, he said, is about finding your place in the world. ''These three women are definitely on the road to some kind of a blossoming, however painful it is,'' Ponti said with passion during a break on the set.
    The Canadian-Italian co-production "Between Strangers'' will be released in Europe and North America in September 2002.

©2001 Reuters

Toronto, May 30 CNW - Astral Media's pay television networks, The Movie Network and Super Ecran, announced today they have pre-licensed the Canadian Television first broadcast rights for "Between Strangers," a Canadian/Italian co-produced film starring Sophia Loren; written and directed by Edoardo Ponti and produced by Gabriella Martinelli (Naked Lunch).

Starting principal photography in Toronto on June 5th, "Between Strangers" interweaves the stories of three women of different generations living in Toronto whose lives radically change when they confront their past, and in the process, embrace life's possibilities. Along with Sophia Loren, the international cast is comprised of Mira Sorvino (USA), Deborah Kara Unger (CAN), Gerard Depardieu (France), Malcolm McDowell (UK), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Austria), Pete Postlewaithe (UK), and Wendy Crewson (CAN).

"We are pleased to be participants at the very beginning of this Canadian- Italian co-production by pre-licensing this film. The strong script, exceptional mix of international and Canadian talent is sure to garner audiences here and outside of Canada," said Lisa de Wilde, President & C.E.O. of Astral Television Networks. "Astral Media's The Harold Greenberg Fund and Astral Media's pay television networks are committed to supporting movies at this stage, allowing us to partner with these productions and provide promotional and financial support through their journey from script to screen to our signal."

For exclusive coverage of "Between Strangers" watch upcoming broadcasts of (at) the Movies, every Saturday at 8:40pm/ET on The Movie Network.

Astral Media, is a leading Canadian media company, that owns and operates Eastern Canada's English and French pay and pay-per-view television networks, providing a premier entertainment experience for over 2 million Canadians. With access to the best movies available, brands like The Movie Network, MOVIEPIX, Super Ecran, Canal Indigo, and Viewer's Choice Canada provide audiences with diverse programming that ranges from yesterday's classics to today's blockbusters, independent hits, Canadian and International movies, exclusive series, and special presentations. Astral Media's pay television networks support Canadian feature film production from script development, through Astral Media's The Harold Greenberg Fund, to financing, exhibition and preservation.

Hollywood Reporter East, May 4, 2001
Loren among Ponti’s ‘Strangers’
By Zorianna Kit and Chris Gardner Sophia Loren, Mira Sorvino, Deborah Kara Unger and Gerard Depardieu have signed on to star in Edoardo Ponti’s feature directorial debut , “Between Strangers.” Ponti, who also wrote the script, is the son of Loren; this marks the first time that mother and son have worked together professionally. The low-budget feature, which also stars Malcolm McDowell, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Pete Postlethwaite, begins shooting June 4 in Toronto and is a Canadian/Italian co-production.

Notes

Pictures

Movie
In order of Malcolm's scenes
Alan getting out of prison
Alan looking in the store he used to own

Alan parting the beads to go back to his old apartment

Alan spotting the original wallpaper and going to touch it

Alan sleeping in the street and being woken up

Alan confronting the punks and telling them to leave him alone

Alan watching his daughter who is searching for him

Alan dead at the police station

Memorabilia
DVD Cover - Front (US)

DVD Cover - Front (Brazil)

DVD Cover - Back (Brazil)

DVD (Brazil)

Italian Movie Poster

Other
Edpardo Ponti and Sophia Loren

Summary - Official

The three women share a common burden. There are men in their lives who have stifled an important part of them and they are all haunted by visions of a young girl. Olivia has spent her life caring for her invalid husband John. It's a loveless marriage but one that seemed to fulfill a need in Olivia. The phantom child she glimpses in the aisles of the grocery store where she works will materialize into an adult and help Olivia deal with the guilt that has haunted her for more than 40 years. Natalia  is a young, award-winning photojournalist trying to live up to the legend of her father's work. The child that will force Natalia into a life-altering decision is the face in the photo that won her an award covering a civil war in an African nation. First Natalia must deal with her father and his controlling personality. Catherine is an acclaimed musician whose father Alan is being released from prison. She has never forgiven him for the crime that sent him to prison when she was just a child. Now Catherine is considering abandoning her own daughter just as she was abandoned by her father's crime. The fabric of these three stories begin to intertwine in subtle and important ways.

My Summary

    Olivia is an older woman who is having a nightmare, Natalia is a younger woman coming home from a working field trip and Catherine is a middle aged woman loading a pistol.
    The next day Olivia is making breakfast for her husband John who is in a wheelchair. He eats and goes off to watch TV without her as she leaves for work. Their relationship seems very cold. Natalia goes to see her father and is greeted by his assistant Nigel. She inspects a wall that has Time magazine covers on it and we learn that her father is a photographer and those are all his pictures. He starts a new wall with a cover that was taken by her, her first cover shot. It is of a crying child in Angola and the headline is about the forgotten war there. Her father is proud, but she seems less than excited by it. She then reveals that her mother has recently passed away and they drink to her. Catherine waits in her car outside a jail as a older man, Alan, is released carrying a big black bag. He gets on a bus as soon as he leaves the gate.
    At Olivia's job in a nearby grocery store there are three young punks are crowded around a video game. One is playing and is close to getting the high score when he dies. He kicks the machine and the owner yells at him. They continue to kick the machine until the gun breaks off and then they run out  with it. On the way out they push Olivia and knock over a few displays. They continue to kick and knock over things on the street and bump into Natalia who is walking by. Olivia is cleaning up when she hears something in the next aisle. A young girl is on the floor drawing all by herself
    Back at home Natalia calls her friend George at Reuters and they go out to walk around. She wants to know if her cover shot was really hers. He assures her is was and she has her father's eye. He wants to buy her something from an African street vendor, but the only thing that catches her eye is the bracelet the vendor is wearing. She won't sell it, but she shows it to them. When Natalia asks about it the vendor says it is Angolan. George then gives the woman the Time magazine and tells her Natalia took the picture. When the vendor questions about what happened to the child Natalia says she doesn't know.
    Alan is wandering around a nearby street and goes into a store as Catherine follows him. When he tries to go into the back rooms the female owner stops him and calls her husband in from outside to stop him. Alan explains he used to own the place and lived in the back around 22 years ago. The man then thinks he is harmless and offers him to show him the apartment above where he used to live. He goes up and walks around noticing one part of the wall that has peeled away to reveal the original wallpaper underneath which he touches and we see a teddy bear on it.
    Olivia goes to a nearby park after work to sit on a bench and draw. Maxwell is a French gardener who works there and is planting flowers. He spots Olivia and is surprised to see her drawing. He never knew she drew as he has known her for years and is impressed with her work. She explains it was her dream to be an artist and that she hasn't drawn in years. Then a mutt starts digging up some flowers and it sends Max into a fit. He runs off to deal with it.
    Olivia returns home late and John questions her about it. She doesn't answer and goes about the task of making dinner. He questions her again and she tells him she was at the park and lost track of time. He doesn't believe her.
    Natalia is having dinner with her father and he asks her what is next for her. She says she is going to Jerusalem and he thinks she shouldn't. He feels she can now make her own assignments. He asks her if she remembers the first camera that he gave her. She said that it made her an outcast amongst the other children, especially when he dragged her to Katmandu instead of Disneyland. He then gets a call from Nigel and then leaves.
    Catherine is at her job. She is a professional cellist and is in the recording studio to make a new CD of Bach with her partner Ralph. Ralph stops the recording to tell her that her husband Eric called. He thinks she is having an affair since they have been on tour for so long and now are in the studio and hasn't heard from her. He tells her he doesn't know what to tell her husband anymore. She doesn't answer and goes back to her playing.
    Alan is trying to sleep in an alley when the punks from the drug store come and bother him.  Jeff makes him get up and holds the gun he broke off the game to his back. He tells him to face the wall and he does. He tells him to put his hands on his head, but he won't. Jeff wants him to drop the bag, but he refuses. Jeff then turns him around and punches him the stomach. The other boys say they were only going to scare him, but then they wind up beating him up. A gun shot is heard and the boys stop. It is Catherine. After another shot they run off. She goes up to Alan and points the gun at him.
     The next day Olivia wakes and makes breakfast, but forgets John's coffee. When he goes to ask her why, she is gone. He finds her in the bedroom drawing and is quite surprised. He can't understand it. She tells him the drawings are from a dream she had about shapes of women coming out of stones. When she goes to touch them they are on fire. After this John doesn't seem to care and just wants her to know she forget his coffee.
    The next morning in Catherine's apartment we learn that Alan is her father. She then reveals that the reason he was in prison was because he used to beat her mother again and again until one day he killed her. She wants to know how he felt getting beat up and if that was how her mother felt. She pulls the gun on him, but he doesn't flinch and tells her he isn't worth it. He tells her what about her family, but she says she doesn't have one. Just then there is a knock on the door and Alan says she'll be right there. She goes to answer and it is Ralph. He tells her he had been trying to get her all morning. One of the parts on the recording had a hiss on it and needed to be rerecorded and soon because they were leaving. She says to use a different take and it'll be fine and she doesn't need to go down there. Alan grabs the door and leaves without his bag as she is speaking and she doesn't want him to. Ralph wonders what is going on. She won't tell him.
    Natalia and her father are walking in the park and talking. He doesn't want her to go to Israel and  thinks she isn't pushing hard enough and taking too many risks. She doesn't understand how she can be both things. He asks her what was she thinking by getting in too close to the fire to take the cover shot. She leaves him and goes into town. While waiting to cross the street she sees the girl that Olivia saw in the drug store. This reminds her of the Angolan war and then when she looks up the kid is gone.
    Catherine goes back to the store that Alan used to own looking for him. The owner and the husband both tell her they haven't seen him. She leaves her number in case he comes back. On the way out we see that Alan is watching her from a distance as she walks through the park. She passes nearby where Olivia is drawing, but they do not see each other. Upon returning to the apartment the phone is ringing. She answers and it is her daughter asking for her. She pretends that she isn't her mother and tells her she isn't there.
    Natalia goes over to Reuters to see George looking for her contact sheets from the cover shoot. He goes to look for them, but then realizes that they are back at his place. He tells her she can stop by tomorrow. She asks what time he will be home tonight and he says 6:30 or 7 pm. She says she'll stop by then and he wonders what the rush is, but doesn't mind because a bunch of them want to take her out for drinks to a Jazz club. On the way out he gives her a package that was dropped off for her.
    Olivia is still drawing, but gets frustrated. She rips off the paper from her pad and throws it away. Max picks it up and jokes about her littering. He then tells her to come with him. They go into a greenhouse area where he has an office and he pours them glasses of moonshine he makes there. She sniffs it and thinks better of it. He wants to know what is wrong because yesterday she was full of life and today she is troubled. He feels she deserves to be happy and she leaves upset saying she doesn't know what she deserves and he has to drink alone. Upon returning home John is watching the TV about an art exhibit. He wants her to see it, but she isn't interested. He insists and she sits down. The artist is showing and talking about her works and they show these large stone carvings that are just like the drawings Olivia has been making. The artist talks about being adopted and wanting to live in Florence. John is a bit pissed off that Olivia copied her and talked about dreams.
    Catherine returns home and is practicing furiously while Olivia goes to the nearby park where the large stone statues that the artist on TV, Amanda Trent, has made. Back at Catherine's place the phone rings. It is her husband. On the machine he explains that it took her two hours to calm her daughter down because she knew it was her mother on the phone. He says it is fine that she walked out on her marriage, but not that she walked out on her daughter. He says it is over and to change her number.
    Natalia goes over to George's place for her contact sheets, but he won't give them to her. He says she can have them after she goes to the Jazz club. She is not interested. He won't relent until she screams at him. She apologizes, but he finally gives her the package with them and then she leaves. Back at her place she is analyzing the pictures when the phone rings. It is her father and he tells her that Orson  Stewart, who is the editor of Time, wants her to work on the international edition. This is big news, but she sounds less than thrilled. She finds the pictures she wanted and then remembers everything. She was in the war zone taking pictures and found the girl near her dead parents bodies. She was in a burning house and she stood there taking the picture as the house burned down around her instead of pulling her out. She explains this to her father and he says she was just doing her job. She is freaked out that didn't save her when she had the chance and that she killed her. Her father says the war killed her and that guilt is only human and the guilty will be judged by her pictures. She isn't comforted because he said the same thing in an interview in November 1972.
    John is at home with the guys playing cards. The pot is getting huge, a months pay, and it's down to John and another guy. John calls and beats him with four of a kind and he thinks it was Olivia that convinced him to play. He says you can't bullshit a bullshitter and also calls Olivia's art bullshit and to show it to the guys. She leaves upset. After the game we see John has cheated by having cards hidden in his wheelchair. He stashes the winnings away in drawer while Olivia sits in the dark. She comes back out as he is watching TV and takes away his remote which angers him. She explains to him that the artist on the TV was really her daughter. She had gotten pregnant when she was a teenager and her fathered flipped out and locked her in her room. The only thing that kept her sane was to draw. When her daughter was born he took the child and gave her up for adoption. John thinks it is a joke and wants her to stop. He tells her he is going to bed and doesn't want her to come in until she stops this talk.
    When John wakes up the next morning Olivia's bed hasn't been slept in. He wheels out and she is in the same spot she was the night before. Natalia remembers the package George gave her and opens it. It is the necklace from the Angolan vendor with a note that reads, "Thank you for what you did for my country." This upsets her greatly and she goes into the shower and turns hot water on her arm, burning herself.
    Catherine is back at home and goes through her father's bag. She finds that he has kept every article about her and a note that Catherine wrote to him in jail when she was a child saying she would always love him and was going to her first cello recital. Right after that there is a knock on her door from a police detective. She goes down to the station and finds her father is there dead on a slab. She runs out and finds the store owner and her husband there. The husband explains that his wife was attacked and her father stepped in and saved her. Instead the group chose to attack him instead and the mother escaped. Catherine doesn't know what to say and leaves. She wanders around the street.
    Olivia is dolling herself up for the big booksigning Amanda is having. She waits on line to get her book signed and tells Amanda how proud she is of her. While Amanda is signing her book she runs away. Amanda follows her and gives her the book. Olivia tells her she is her biggest fan and Amanda says that is what her mother always says. They hug and Olivia leaves.
    Olivia goes to the park afterwards to see Max. She confesses to him that it was she who gave her daughter away, her father didn't take her. She regrets not holding on and says how strong and beautiful she is. Max asks her who does she think she got it from?
    Natalia arrives at the lunch meeting where her father, Nigel and Orson are waiting. Her father asks what her next assignment is to be. Orson says Lima and her father isn't sure of that especially with her heading to Israel. Natalia doesn't sit down and tells her father she can't do it. She can't be a photographer anymore. He doesn't believe it and she runs off. Outside she runs into the Angolan vendor and tries to give her the bracelet back. The vendor refuses and tells her it was her mother's and she would've wanted her to have it.
    Olivia comes home and John is pissed that she is so late. He is also surprised at how dressed up she is. She explains that she was at the booksigning. He tells her she looks like a whore and wants to know how many men she has screwed behind his back. He also wants the book and doesn't want her to see Amanda again. She won't give it to him and he grabs it. They struggle and he falls out of his wheelchair holding it. He doesn't want her help and she runs off. He is surprised to see it is signed to her with "dreams are all we have." That night they are eating dinner while it is raining outside. She is sorry, but he doesn't accept it. She goes to help him pour the wine and he says how pathetic she is for thinking she needs him. It is really her who needs him. He says she has married him to take care of him like charity because she gave her daughter away. He pours the wine himself and winds up knocking the glass and spilling it on himself. They both look over toward the towels, but neither moves. Eventually she gets up, but goes past them and opens the window and lets the rain fall on her face. John thinks she has gone crazy.
    Natalia tries on the bracelet back at her house. Catherine is sitting in the dark crying and listening to and old message from her daughter while holding the gun. She suddenly gets up and looks out the window at the rain and then closes it.
    Olivia tells John it is her dream to go to Florence. John thinks it is nonsense. He explains how he used to be a runner and then one day it was gone. She says she knows what it is like because she lost a child. She shows him 1200 dollars she has saved to go on the trip. He tells her that is enough to get her there, but not enough for anything else. He tells her he is going to take a shower and it would be best if she was gone by the time he was done. He also says he'll leave her book on the bed. She goes to retrieve it and opens up to find that John has stuck all his poker winnings inside. In the bathroom he is just sitting there waiting for her to leave and not really taking a shower. She is very touched and goes to say something to him, but doesn't.
    Natalia is loading up her stuff into a cab when her father pulls up. He is not happy she has joined the UN to volunteer to go work in Angola. He wants to stop her because he thinks she is wasting her talents. She tells him she doesn't even know what her talents are. He tries to tell her it is photography and not to do this to him. She explains it has nothing to do with him and gets in the taxi and leaves.
     Ralph is waiting for Catherine at the airport for their flight to New York. She arrives only 15 minutes before their flight is to leave. She tells him she isn't going with him, but is going home instead. He is upset since they have a concert, but there is nothing he can do. She goes to sit down and finds the only empty table is with Natalia. Olivia checks in and the clerk asks her if it is her first time flying. She says it is her first time for everything. She winds up taking the last seat at the table with Catherine and Natalia.
    Soon after the girl that they had seen before appears and Catherine sees her. The girl laughs and Natalia and Olivia both look up. When the girls' father picks her up and takes her back to his table all three women look at each other and laugh.

My Review

    This movie is not what you expect, if you expect anything at all. You might think that nepotism got Edoardo the job on this film because Sophia Loren is his mother. While I am sure that didn't hurt him in any way and could have only helped open doors. The film stands up on it's own as an impressive debut. It is a very professional looking film that has the look of one made by someone twice his age. The use of Toronto gives the film a European look, but an American feel. The look is attributed to the artwork and the feel is because all the signs on the shops are in English. The shots are framed very well, especially in the garden. The use of colors and establishing shots are also noteworthy. One of my favorite shots is a long shot of Natalia going into Reuters. We see a dozen or more windows surround by blue. The shot wasn't necessary at all, but was probably chosen just because it looked so cool. The camera work was very smooth, no annoying jump cuts or jumpy camera shots usually favored by today's younger crowd. He also has an interesting way of shooting the characters off center. Framing sots have the character to one side of the frame instead of right in the middle.  The score is also very well done with a great unconventional classical sound.
    There isn't a narrative or a simple story. Instead we get three stories which intertwine and at times act like runners in a relay race handing the baton from one to the next. Catherine walks in the park and unbeknownst to her Olivia is there. All are on separate paths, but their paths are all leading to the same place.
    Each woman has a demon from their past to overcome, each one farther back than the last. Natalia's is the most recent, but she has blocked it out and must rediscover it. Olivia's is the oldest going back 45 years to the daughter she gave up because she was too immature to handle it. Catherine's goes back 22 years to when her father killed her mother. None are truly prepared to confront what is inside when the time comes. Olivia meets her daughter for the first time and runs away. She can't tell her who she really is. Natalia can't live with the fact the girl she photographed has died because she was too busy taking her picture and Catherine can't summon up the courage to pull the trigger on the man that she has always hated.
    Because each woman has a personal demon to confront from the past it also ruins their future relationships. Olivia's marriage is cold, loveless and falling apart. Natalia is pulling away from her job and her father who is her only relative and Catherine has abandoned her husband and daughter. They also have trouble with the men closest to them. Olivia can't get sympathy from her husband. Natalia can't get her father to understand what she is feeling and he thinks she is leaving her job to hurt him and Catherine can't let go of what her father did to her and her mother.
    All the actors and actresses did well in their roles. The only one that seemed a little too goofy was Max. His motivations were unclear. Was he just trying to be a friend or did he want something more? Did Olivia want something more? I would've liked a resolution of that. When Max offered her a drink she backed off. Why? Because she felt guilty? If they were just friends it shouldn't have mattered. In fact all three woman had parts of their relationships that were unexplored or unexplained. Did Natalia push too hard to try to be like her father because her mother died? Why didn't she help the Angolan girl? Because she wanted to be famous? Because her father was cold and she was too? If she was always like that then what was the problem this time? There was no indication that her father pushed her too hard. In the end she said it wasn't about him. Was it just about finding herself? A short sentence about why she felt she needed to volunteer would've helped. Catherine's story seemed to make the least sense of all. She scheduled a recording session in Toronto so she could be near her father when he got out of prison and kill him. She has the perfect opportunity to do so in the alley and even pin the blame on the punks, but doesn't do it. She then pulls the gun on him again at the worst time and place in her apartment. Why did she lose her nerve? This consumed her so much that she abandons her husband and daughter. Why? Did she plan on killing herself afterwards? She lies to her daughter which hurts her so bad that her husband wants a divorce. She was so consumed by her hatred that she forget how to love. Some explanation about why she was willing to throw away everything for nothing would've helped. When it was clear she wasn't going to kill Alan it would've been great for her to explain to him what she had planned to do and why.
    There is something in each character that most people can relate to because of their broad range of ages and perspectives. The problem is there are no sympathetic characters. You might feel sorry for the women, but you don't like them. Olivia is a walking carpet for her husband. Is it because of the guilt she feels from giving her daughter away? Fine, but show some emotion. Even to the end he treats her like crap and she takes it. He does leave money for her, but does it in such a spiteful way instead of handing it to her and saying he loves her and wants her to be happy. There is no real love between them. Also when Olivia finally meets her daughter she says nothing about it to her in the end. We are left to wonder if she even really is her daughter. Why didn't she say something? Natalia is like the spoiled rich girl who has gotten by on nepotism. I kept waiting for them to reveal that they really didn't use her picture which is where it seemed to lead. Instead we learn she is cold and shallow and risked too much just to get the perfect shot. In the end it is she who does the most to redeem herself, but only because she has the least to lose. Catherine comes off as completely heartless. She is so consumed with killing her father that she lets it destroy her family and her career. At least if she did kill him she would've accomplished the goal. Instead by rejecting him completely, she winds up killing him anyway. Are we to believe it was his fate? I don't think so. It was more like he had nothing to live for. Only afterwards did she learn he cared for her by keeping a folder of all the articles about her in the papers. It is then she realizes that no matter how screwed up you may be it is still possible to love your child and she decides to return home.
    It was predictable that all three women would end up together at the end. It is OK, yet anti-climatic. The way it ends seems so forced with all three women laughing themselves silly over something that isn't funny. The girl whom each woman almost magically encountered like the monoliths in 2001 A Space Odyssey that changes their lives turns out to be real. Olivia sees the girl drawing and it leads her to draw again. Natalie sees the girl disappear and it leads her to find out what happened to the girl she photographed. Something that would be so personal would almost seem insulting if you were laughing and then others started laughing. You might think they were mocking you. How could they understand? It was also predictable that Natalia's anonymous gift was the bracelet from the vendor, it couldn't be anything else.
    One major nitpick to me was that they converted a 1978 Asteroids arcade came to Asteroids Attack and tried to make it modern by adding a gun to it. Using the same exact artwork and writing attack on it was super cheesy. One error is that when Catherine sees her father dead the clock reads 20 minutes to eleven. When she runs out the door seconds later the clock in the next room reads 20 minutes to twelve.
    Bottom line is that this a chick flick and not something I would've ever watched if Malcolm wasn't involved. I was very disappointed when I saw Alan's corpse on a slab in the morgue.  Malcolm had very few scenes as it was and even fewer lines. I was certainly hoping for a lot more for him. He did well as the ex-con who is put back out on the streets after he paid his debt to society. The problem is that he has no family, no money, no skills and no place to go. He is a tragic figure who is the victim of his own personal demons like the women are. In the end he gives the only thing he has left to redeem himself - his life. Probably the highlight of the film was seeing Alan get beaten like how Alex and his droogs beat the tramp in Clockwork. I doubt the kids in the film would have any idea of the significance of this cinematic turnaround. If you are a mother or a daughter then this film would probably appeal to you. If you are a regular guy there isn't much here for you except a great looking and well acted film, but nothing for you to embrace as your own.

Rating 6.5/10

Together Before

1993 - Malcolm and Mira Sorvino were both in The Second Greatest Story Ever Told.

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