FAMILY LOVE AND TURMOIL WITH A TWIST...OR TWO
Going home, a recurring theme that has become more resonant these days, only has meaning if you have ever left. Most of the Meyersons have chosen to stay in New York rather than to move to other destinations. Only the patriarch, Morty (Richard Kind) leaves his life behind, his family, anchor for reasons not made clear.
Remaining members are his wife, Dr. Terry Myerson (Kate Mulgrew) a pediatric oncologist, his four children, and his mother-in-law (Barbara Barrie) as Celeste. We see them at their happiest until it becomes clear that each, even the reluctant rabbi, Daniel (Daniel Eric Gold), wrestles with adult life. An adjunct, the eldest son's (Roland's) wife, Melissa Errico as Illaria, provides momentary humor as she debates with her daughter about getting a chocolate croissant.
In The Magnificent Meyersons (2021) Writer/Director Evan Oppenheimer explores relationships between spouses, lovers, mothers and daughters; ecumenical questions along with life choices; the vastness of the universe. However, no one appears to be getting anywhere or happier until a momentous event occurs that sparks renewal among all of them.
The Manhattan locales often look worse for wear, adding realism. What interferes with this family drama involves ubiquitous flashbacks, choppy scenes plus the usual New York snarkiness one anticipates, though the comments don't always elicit laughs or awareness. The chatter borders on schmaltz and the film's final scenes induce chagrin, deflated expectations. Yet, the conversational story has snippets of distinctive dialogue.
Rising to the top, great acting by Barrie, Kind, Mulgrew with fine performances by the other actors. And, Oppenheimer's final shot demonstrates his future potential as a director.
All in all, The Magnificent Meyersons has its merits. If you have a chance to see it, you might be in for a few surprises.
Unrated as of this post date. Adult topics, medical crises and mild expletives.
Opening in limited release in New York (Aug. 20) and Los Angeles (Aug. 27).
Earlier reviews not seen on this website (before May 20, 2021) are available on https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/wendy-shreve/movies or my previous blog site, featuringfilm.com
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