Tag Archive: nicole holofcener

It’s a new year and a good time for wishful thinking. Ballots have been mailed to Academy Award voters and must be returned by January 14, so to all my Oscar-voting readers — let’s for the moment assume I have any — here are some eligible contenders you haven’t been hearing about but deserve your attention.

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Catherine Keener and Liev Schreiber, in 'Walking and Talking'

Dir. Nicole Holofcener
(1996, R, 85 min)
★ ★ ★ ½

I love, love, love Nicole Holofcener. She’s such a natural, assured filmmaker, on a short list of my favorite directors currently working. Having seen the last three of her four feature films — most recently this year’s superb Please Give — I decided to seek out her first: 1996’s Walking and Talking, which is very much of a piece with her three subsequent films, and that’s alright by me. She generates compassion and develops clear but complex characters and relationships with effortless grace.

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Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet, in 'Please Give'

Dir. Nicole Holofcener
(2010, R, 90 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

I wish I could write the way Nicole Holofcener writes. I wish I could write the way she directs too. It’s sometimes difficult to articulate the feelings and motivations of her characters in Please Give — they contain layers of often contradictory emotions — but they elicit our immediate empathy. There is a scene, and others like it, where two sisters sit together on a couch watching television and one lays her head on the other’s shoulder; without a word of dialogue, we feel their longing, regret, and self-doubt … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.org.