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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected) (2017)

An eccentric artist (Dustin Hoffman)  and his fourth wife (Emma Thompson), who is an alcoholic, welcome his adult children from his prior marriages who all have a strained relationship with their father: the unemployed and recently divorced oldest son (Adam Sandler), the quiet recessive daughter (Elizabeth Marvel) and the only successful member of the family, the son (Ben Stiller) who lives out in L.A. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, this is the kind of movie he does best. Like his THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, he explores a dysfunctional family with acidic insight as well as generous doses of humor. The film is divided into chapters focusing on the adult children's conflicted relationship with their egocentric father. The rich dialog is often rapid fire reminding one of the films of both Robert Altman and Woody Allen. The fragmented nature of the film allows Baumbach to address the specificities of dysfunction in the family rather than generics. The acting is first rate with Hoffman giving his best performance in years as well as a career best performance by Sandler (he'll be surprising a lot of people). The score is by Randy Newman. With Candice Bergen, Adam Driver, Sigourney Weaver, Judd Hirsch, Rebecca Miller and Grace Van Patten, who is someone to watch.  

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