Thursday, June 17, 2010

Please Give (Rhoades)

“Please Give” to Catherine Keener
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I’m coming to think of Catherine Keener as America’s answer to Cate Blanchett. A fine actress, comfortable in any role she tries on, wearing it like a second skin.

In “Please Give,” she’s a second-hand furniture dealer, who along with her hubby (Oliver Platt), buy up kitsch household items when someone dies and mark them up for resell in their little NYC shop.

Like birds of prey, they are keeping their eye on the apartment next door, not only so they can scoop up the estate of cranky old Andra (Ann Guilbert), but because they’re grabbing the apartment itself in order to knock a connecting door through to their own.

If only the old bag would give up the ghost.

Andra’s granddaughters are no help, one (Rebecca Hall) a dutiful dweeb and the other (Amanda Peet) a self-centered bitch.

“Please Give” is about that tug-of-war between guilt and greed.

This is the fourth film that Keener and writer-director Nicole Holofcener have made together. In addition to “Please Give,” they’ve done “Walking and Talking,” “Lovely and Amazing,” and “Friends with Money.”
You’ve seen Keener in such films as “Being John Malkovich,” “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Capote,” “The Soloist,” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

“Well, for one thing,” she says, “I like being a supporting actress. I like to come and go in the film. The interesting characters are very few if you want to be the lead, and they depend on you being beautiful. Since I’m not interested in those parts, the pressure’s off, in a way. I’m not cast for my physicality. I find that playing so many characters in so many films is a way to be in the moment.”

No, Catherine, you are so beautiful in your roles.
[from Solares Hill]

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