Sunday, October 15, 2017
NY FILM FESTIVAL: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
The story of half-siblings, Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller), and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), and how their lives have been affected by their father (Dustin Hoffman) is a delight from beginning to end; with Mr. Hoffman creating a memorable character to add to his impressive cinematic catalogue. His Harold Meyerowitz is a strong-willed, former Bard College art teacher and modern sculptor, who in the autumn of his life feels himself neglected by the New York art critics. How his children from numerous marriages have been affected by him is the crux of this enjoyable slice of New York life.
The film features strong performances from the cast already mentioned as well as from Emma Thompson (with an incredible right-on-target New York accent) as Maureen, Harold's current alcoholic wife and atrocious cook, Candice Bergen as Harold's third wife and Matthew's mother, and newcomer Grace Van Patten as Eliza, Danny's daughter, who wants to be a filmmaker, and whose first film "Pagina Man" verges on the pornographic. Judd Hirsch, Adam Driver, and Sigourney Weaver (playing herself) in minor and cameo roles round out the incredible cast. It's really great to see so much talent in one film, and all of them hitting the mark in their various roles.
Adam Sandler's Danny is a wonderfully crafted creation: a complex mensch with so much brewing anger inside of him that at times it boils over whether it be just trying to find a parking space in Manhattan or confronting his brother Matthew with a painful family memory. The role allows Mr. Sandler to remind us just how talented he can be when he doesn't have shtick to fall back on. And Mr. Hoffman? Well, he is just simply a joy to watch from beginning to end, and I would not be surprised if this role adds another shelf of awards for this great actor.
With a wonderful script by the director, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is a strong contender for Oscar gold this year. Don't miss it!