Sunday, April 24, 2011

3 Backyards (Rhoades)

3 Backyards” Offers 3 Stories
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades\

As I sit here in my Key West backyard, I’m contemplating the new film at the Tropic Cinema called “3 Backyards.” It’s a fairly intense drama that sets your mind to reeling.
This Sundance award-winner by writer-director Eric Mendelsohn actually gives us three unrelated (except thematically) stories of people in a small town undergoing personal crises on the same day.
One is a businessman (Elias Koteas) with marital problem; the second a girl who steals her mom’s jewelry and witnesses a pervert; the third a woman (Edie Falco) who give a ride to her actress neighbor (Embeth Davidtz).
These dramatic excursions may leave you a little shaken, not stirred. The familiar backyards have shifted into a mysterious territory for each of our residents. The quiet desperation is palpable, underscored by flute music and fades and zooms. What might be called an “art house” film by mainstream moviegoers.
Some reviewers have called “3 Backyards” a “humble charmer of a film.” Others have referred to it as “very disappointing” and “what were they thinking?” As noted, I found it “contemplative.”
Edie Falco has worked with Mendelsohn before, starring in his film “Judy Berlin.” That opus and this one make him the only two-time prizewinner for directing at Sundance. You’ll remember Edie from her run as the mob wife on TV’s “The Sopranos” and her current hit “Nurse Jackie.”
Although a conservatory-trained actress, Edie Falco finally made her mark in television after supporting herself as a window washer and dressing as Cookie Monster at parties. In 2000 she swept television’s three top awards – the Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG for her role in “The Sopranos.”
Despite the current success of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” she still finds time for films. In particular, she likes doing small indies like “3 Backyards.” As she says, “The high-grossing films are not all that interesting to me, I have to say. It’s not stuff I would want to be in. Yes, you would want the big paycheck, but that’s never really been my concern.”
As for Mendelsohn, this former assistant costume designer for Woody Allen movies has made his directorial mark, now teaching directing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and creating intimate little films that remind him of those suburban neighborhoods on Long Island where he grew up – not all that far from an aspiring actress named Edith Falco.
[from Solares Hill]

No comments: