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By: Shaun

        How could I deny buying a ticket to go see my favorite era, the 60’s, free love, sex, drugs, and my favorite….rock music. This was a revolution for rebellious people around the world to untie under once franchise and in one uproarious voice yell, " We are hippies", they were simple men, no aggression, no nervousness, just take it as it comes and be cool with it. Although this film does not emphasis on the hippies, it does include monologues on how being one is wrong, they mock their ways and bring forth the conservative stereotype. The rambunctious hippie is considered the devil, they get nude is private lakes, smoke marijuana in the outdoors freely, give away products as acts of kindness, they are simply philanthropists, do acts out of good will, pacifists. I have researched and read up on this topic so much that I am on the verge of writing an essay for you guys, but I’ll be relevant and stick with the topic at hand and review this amazingly touching film. Well we are on the outside of that 60’s in this film, quarantined and confined in a camp premises for Jewish families located in the Catskill mountains, which is not bad because we have a designated facility that we rarely leave. We see what happens when these two world engage in close encounters and interactions, first time director Tony Goldwyn handles the material presented very meticulously and achieves in tightening the dramatic tension, giving us characters we actually care for and can relate to. Writer Pamela Gray types up some pretty unpredictable dialogue and gives you moments when you have no other protégé to use that you must cough up the hard hitting truth of confessions. The setting of the outdoors is miraculously refreshing and the fact that we are watching the life of a simple family trying to cope with the future and unexpected travesty’s makes this film all the better. Never before have there been such uncomfortable moments since "A Streetcar Named Desire", scenes that make it uneasy to watch but you cannot help but pry into the conversation.

        It is the summer of 1969 (summer of love and Wood stock) and the Kantrowitz family is going on their vacation to the mountains as they do every year, they have their tradition of getting their in a record time and knowing schedules for when anything will get served. The man of the family is Marty (Liev Schreiber, in a breakthrough performance), the women is Pearl (Diane Lane), the teen girl with adolescence is Alison (Anna Pquin , the revelation), their son Daniel, and grandma Lilian (Tovah Feldshuh). With all of the excitement of hippies and freedom, being wild is an intriguing thought to a women who is prude, a women who has never been untamed, always led the simple life of being a housewife and taking care of the kids, but what if she is still young. In this case Pearl is looking for the real her, she wants to break free of her controlled life, we see details of this wanting early on in the film, like when she wants to try something new with her husband in sex.

        14 year old Alison is trying to cope with puberty and the fact that her father is a square, she also wants more freedom, she wants to dress in finery clothing and do what she wants, go out with boys and get all she can out of life without the approval of her parents. She needs space from her brother and goes to her grandmother for comfort, a character that is sympathetic and true to life, she is real and Paquin plays her character like a pro.

        A blouse man named Walker Jerome (Viggo Mortensen) is the hippie in this film who has the charisma to sweep Pearl from her feet and into his bus of blouses, he shows kindness and gratitude, gives blouses and candy for free, talks in a slow manner, smokes marijuana and drops acid.

        Marty is a working T.V repairman who is only able to see his wife on the weekend, this means that he is absent five days out of the week, this leaves time for Jerome to make his moves on the naïve housewife. Marty is the most compassionate character here, he shows vibrant emotions and Schreiber has his best performance yet. Foe example when he finds out that his wife is engaged in an affair the writer of this film does not use a cliché to cover up his wounds, she uses the simple truth, "help me out here Pearl, tell me what to say because right now I don’t know".

        I found the relationship between Pearl and Jerome a bit uneasy, it should have dwelled a bit more on their feelings towards each other instead of focusing on what Marty did after he found out, their relationship is just a bit too confidential on the screen and that is the only aspect lacking in this film. Overall it had great performance and a blistering fresh soundtrack, the dialogue was masterful and the theme was inventive, credit the director for not losing sight on this matter of sexual infidelity. The film itself is very believably and I am just about convinced that Schreiber is a versatile actor and can adjust into any role. So I suggest you go out and see this invigorating slice of life that will stay in your mind for the next few months.


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