I'm still stuck on the sofa. My back is improving, but flares up quickly if I'm not careful. Daytime tv selections are dreadful, so I've been watching streaming Netflix... a LOT. While trolling through the many, varied choices over there, I found Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School.
The title was so cumbersome, I was skeptical about how good it would be. The cast is stellar: Mary Steenburgen, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), John Goodman, Marissa Tomei, Donny Wahlberg, Adam Arkin, Miguel Sandoval, Ernie Hudson, and Danny Devito. My God, with a cast like that, why didn't this 2005 movie get more press?
I found myself delighted and deeply touched as I watched. This is a heartfelt, poignant story of a widower thrown into a tragic situation that inspires him to change his life. The actors move through their parts gently, working to avoid out-shining each other. In particular, John Goodman demonstrates he is a mature and skillful actor with his touching performance.
The script was very well written. The story flows through present and flashback scenes so easily, that it never leaves you feeling lost. The plot and subplots are woven together so well that the actors are able to bring these characters to life. You clearly see their transformations without proclamations or huge speeches.
You won't find action scenes, obvious, gratuitous sex, or beautiful people; these are tragic figures who find direction. A sleeper film, but what a treasure! I hope you'll try it... you won't be disappointed. (Oh, and lest you be put off by the idea of ballroom dancing, actual dancing plays a verrry tiny part in the plot.)
copyright 2010 Shibori Girl