Lawrence, an aging, lonely civil servant falls for Gina, an enigmatic young woman. When he takes her to the G8 Summit in Reykjavik, however, their bond is tested by Lawrence's professional obligations.
A drama that swoops in on Empire Falls, an economically depressed mill town in Maine, and lifetime resident Miles Roby, who's run the town's top restaurant for some twenty years. Miles is surrounded by his newly thin wife, meddling father, and hostile boss. Written by
When Miles and Tick are sitting at the restaurant bar, the camera cuts from the two of them to a close up. When it returns a Sprite can magically appears in front of Tick. See more »
Who, after all, arrives at his heart's home at the end of the day? Even this day, who can say that the next will bring joy?... or comfort?... or justice?... or release?... or an end to care? Lives are like rivers... eventually they go where they must... not where we want them to.
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I saw the premiere in NYC, and I work with one of the cast members, so my take on the movie is a bit biased.
I also grew up in Maine, and know several of the locations well. All told, the production captured the sense of community in Maine very well. Look out the window of the Empire Grill for the best music store chain in the country, Bullmoose Music, or the background for other Maine details - Gifford's Icecream, Hannaford's, Route 201, Kennebunkport (and the Bush compound at Walker Point).
The film is excellent, and managed to translate the Richard Russo novel quite well. There was little changed or left out from the book - keep in mind this is a nearly 4 hour mini-series in two parts, 8 chapters. Watch it in two installments, late May, 2005 on HBO.
There is a very interesting dynamic with Paul Newman playing the passionate opposite of real-life wife Joanne Woodward, playing the rational and controlling matriarch. Ed Harris is the center of the production, and turns in a well considered and Mainer-like performance. Danielle Panabaker also performed well, and will turn into a starlet sooner than later. The supporting cast of Helen Hunt, Dennis Farina (hilarious), Kate Burton (wow), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Aidan Quinn, and Jeff DeMunn add up to an amazing ensemble.
It would be a 10 of 10 if the ending weren't the easy way out of a complex story, a problem with the book as well as the film.
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