If you’re familiar with writer-director Noah Baumbach, you know that he’s a filmmaker who observes family with an incredible eye for detail. Having tackled similar themes in the past (see “The Squid and the Whale”), Baumbach returns with one of his most ambitious projects yet: “The Meyerowitz Stories”. Can’t spell that title out? Don’t cringe. You’ll get over it. Baumbach has assembled an all-star that includes Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Adam Sandler (in one of his best performances in years), to tell the story of a dysfunctional family who has to deal with an emotional crisis. Baumbach, like the master that he is, takes his sweet time working his way into our mind and heart. And when he does, you’re in for a rollercoaster ride. He lets us hang for a while with this family; The father (played by Dustin Hoffman) is a sculptor who can’t accept the fact that his best days are long behind him. His son Danny (Sandler) is a divorced musician who lives in the shadow of his father. This isn’t helpful, especially when we find out that his other son Matthew (Ben Stiller) is a successful businessman living in Los Angeles. All the performances are flawless, but Hoffman’s portrait of an ageing man trying to make peace with his family (and himself) is a finely tuned tour de force. Without resorting to cheap tricks, Baumbach’s humane touch gets to you. It’s one of his finest movies.
Categories: 2010 - 2017, 3/4, comedy, drama, The Twenty-First Century
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