I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS review via Carla Renata's Corner and UBNRadio.com Being a teen, a young adult in your 20's, 30's and 40's are all phases that one at least has some idea of what to look forward to.  Growing old is the only phase in life that you can't outgrow. Growing old makes one remisnence about days gone by such as people you loved, people who loved you back.  Did you life turn out as planned or was it derailed by an unexpected turn of events?

Carol (Blythe Danner) is a creature of habit.  She writes down her errands on an erase board as to ensure she doesn't miss anything.  She awakens at 6am, eats breakfast, reads the paper, goes for a walk and plays bridge with her good girlfriends.  Normalcy is something she desperately tries to hold onto after the death of her husband, her best furry friend and a not so close relationship with her only daughter.  She seems to do this with ease and no interruptions until two very different men come into her life and change everything.

ISYIMD_Blythe

Blythe Danner has been an actor for 50 years and never tackled a female lead onscreen until now. Thank goodness!!!  This was a role that only Danner was born to play.  How ironic was it that such a prolific role was co-written by Brett Haley (only 29 years old) and Marc Basch.  It was a gift from Haley, this complex role for an actress in her 70s when such parts are few and far between. Interestingly enough, 2015 is a year marked by a number of these films for a change.  With films like “Grandma” (Lily Tomlin), “45 Years” (Charlotte Rampling) and “The Lady in the Van” (Maggie Smith), among others, populating the cinematic landscape.

"'ll See You In My Dreams" is a story about love, loss re-awakening in a phase of life one never sees coming.  Let me tell you, I was a wreck from the first frame, so be sure to take some tissue with you.  You'll laugh more though...lol.

Sam Elliott is fine and like old ass wine!!!  We don't get to see him onscreen often enough, but when we do it is well worth the wait.  Only in a few scenes, he steals them every time!!!

ISYIMD_Blye_SamISYIND_Sam

The bridge ladies, all adeptly, easily and comically played by Mary Kay Place, June Squibb and Rhea Perlman,  are one of the highlights with the funniest scene being when the ladies make a quick "munchie" trip in the middle of the night.

ISYIMD_cast

This film evoked a multitude of emotions for a variety of reasons.  Yet the most compelling one is my love of independent film.  Indies are not concerned with making the story splashy as much as simply telling the story.

"I'll See You In My Dreams" began its journey in January at the Sundance Film Festival and looks like it will most likely be making its way to the attention of the Academy Awards.  Danner, just this week, was nominated for Best Actress by 2015 Gotham Awards.  And so it begins...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha4kEBtHDoc

 

GRANDMA

   

 

IMG_1036

"Time passes...That's for sure"

Eileen Myles

Sage (Julia Garner) and Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) in GRANDMA Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Time is passing very slowly for Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) who has just lost the love of her life after more than 38 years.  Elle chooses to pass time with a younger, less interesting version named Olivia (Judy Greer).  However, when Olivia asks for more of a commitment Elle vindictively calls her a footnote.

Elle isn't allowed to grieve the old and the new for very long when her grand-daughter Sage (Julia Garner) shows up on her doorstep needing $300 to terminate her pregnancy.  That's when the adventure and the antics begin.

The performances in this film are exquisite!!!  Lily Tomlin is on a roll this year!  With this potential Oscar nomination coming down the pipe for this breathtaking performance, Tomlin also has a hit on her hands over at Netflix with old friend Jane Fonda with "Grace & Frankie".  The scene between her and ex-husband Karl (Sam Elliott) was one of my favorites simply because it's a master class from two cinema's finest.  Lily Tomlin reminds us all why she is force to reckoned with.  She gives Elle such complexity, vulnerability and humor that you forget Tomlin is acting and in character.

Marcia Gay Harden as Sage's Mom Judy is hilariously evil...you love to hate her with a smile on your face!  Last, but certainly not least, Julia Garner as Sage turns in a star making performance and I predict this will hardly be the last time we hear from her.  Laverne Cox is heartwarming as Deathy and it was great to see one of my favs Elizabeth Pena in one her last film performances before passing away earlier this year.

After having very successful screenings at the Los Angeles and Tribeca Film Festivals, GRANDMA will be released into theaters  by Sony Classics on August 21st and trust me you really don't want to let this one slip by.

[embed]https://youtu.be/KkYrHaLOVrM[/embed]

Digging For Fire

IMG_1037-0  

DIGGING FOR FIRE REVIEW by Carla Renata for www.carlarenatascorner.com

Marriage, children nor the maintenance of both come with a "how to" manual.  It's a daily  surprise of events and constant discoveries.  Often times, when couples have children,  they feel as if they no longer have an identity beyond being Mom and Dad.  What happened to the person you brought to the marriage before the bundle of joy arrived?

Digging for Fire is not as obvious of a title as one might expect.  Tim's  (Jake Johnson) discovery of a bone and gun in the backyard sends him on a hunt to solve a mystery.  Meanwhile, Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt) is in a constant search of how to reignite the "fire" in their marriage.  As a matter of fact, in a very clever move by the filmmakers, Lee found a copy of David Schnarch's book Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Relationships in almost every location she traveled. - her sister's house, her Mom's house, even the house of a complete stranger.

In essence, Tim is digging for the fire that has ignited his sense of curiosity of his new-found murder mystery and Lee is digging for the fire to re-ignite intimacy in her marriage.  In the process,they make discoveries about themselves, family and friends that bring them back to who they were before becoming parents - realizing that their relationship is not in as much trouble as they thought.

Jake Johnson did an exemplary job with this screenplay, which I peeped earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.  Even more impressive,  is the cast he was able to assemble as Producer, which includes Anna Kendrick, Sam Elliott, Orlando Bloom, Judith Light and Sam Rockwell just to name a few.  Johnson sure has come a long way since "New Girl".

Sam Rockwell (Ray) in a wild, eclectic performance layered with comedy and straight up craziness is  well worth the roller-coaster ride his character puts the audience through.

Mike Birbiglia (Phil) as Tim and Lee's  well-meaning, overprotective family friend provides us with many a comical line.

However, Orlando Bloom (Ben) is charmingly handsome as the bar stranger with all the right moves and qualities to sweep a girl off her feet.  That scene with the walk on the ocean is priceless

After making the film festival rounds, Digging With Fire finally makes its domestic theatrical release today!!!  It's a great indie film with a lot of heart.  Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tPy8DM3h20