Fireflies in the Garden 2009

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(27) IMDb 6.6/10
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In this haunting family drama of recrimination and reconciliation, Lisa Waechter is at the center of the story playing a beleaguered family matriarch who has subordinated her needs and desires to those of her family, particularly her cold, demanding husband. Lisa's sudden death brings her entire clan together and triggers a series of flashbacks that reveal how the seeds of today's discontent were planted years earlier. Juxtaposing past and present in a fluid, lyrical, and emotionally resonant manner, "Fireflies in the Garden" shows us that, while family is hard to live with, it is impossible to live without.

Starring:
Julia Roberts, George Newbern
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 0 minutes
Starring Julia Roberts, George Newbern, Emily Watson, Hayden Panettiere, Shannon Lucio, Willem Dafoe, Cayden Boyd, Ioan Gruffudd, Ryan Reynolds, Carrie-Anne Moss
Director Dennis Lee
Genres Drama
Studio UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Rental release 28 September 2009
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Isabella Balkert on 30 April 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I hated the frustration, the defeat, the cruelty, the hopelessness and the sheer anger I felt towards the cruel father and all those who never lifted at hand to stop him. I will never watch it again, yet I think it is a so called good movie and well worth watching for those who can stomach it and needs a lesson in when not to shut your eyes and when to put your foot down to what is happening in your neighborhood or your own family.

William Dafoe is hauntingly believable as the eccentric, sadistic poor wreck of a man, and you want to smack Julia Roberts for being to slow to move as the mother who should have said stop much earlier in her life, like most mothers of that age. The abused son is characterized very well both in child and adult life.

I might have given the film more stars, and I might have given it less stars, all in all I hated the way the film made me feel, during and after, and if that is what I was meant to feel, the director of the movie got that right - The evening was ruined and the feeling of it hung over the next day also, so if you have a soft heart avoid this movie.

Personally I feel there ought to be just an ounce of happiness or a light in the dark just somewhere, if you have to swallow both physical and emotional abuse.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jakab on 26 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD
Unlike the previous reviewer I thoroughly rate this film. Ok, it may not be to everyone's taste, but it's not your typical Hollywood kind of film either - there are already plenty of those. Instead, it follows the life of a boy called Michael. On the death of his mother, the grown up characters ensemble and much is Michael's terrible and difficult childhood is slowly revealed.

I liked the film because it's real. Some people don't like films that are real, but I do. Things like what are shown in the film happen, and while they don't happen to everyone, they happen to many. It's a film that lifts the lid on a difficult subject but one that is real nevertheless. It can help more people understand the suffering involved of those who have grown up terrified and abused, and help the cruelty and after effects be understood.

For viewers who like films that are off the beaten track, and have a clever plot that doesn't feel like a Hollywood script, you'll get a lot out of this film. Particularly if you can relate to the content. It has a bitter-sweet storyline which also offers hope with a gritty realism to show that even with the worst of backgrounds, slowly things can change - if people are willing. Highly recommended, but not for the feint-hearted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tree on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
a very well acted and enjoyable movie.not a fantastic blockbuster, but good for chilling out with, or doing the ironing.an afternoon under the duvet type of film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauran on 3 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this film, especially as it had some good reviews. I found it exceedingly boring, and I can't believe that many families would behave in this way. It was not very credible and even though I knew the storyline it was a full hour before I understood what was going on between the child/adult of the lead actor.
Don't waste your money.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Rosalind A. Brennan on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this film! I agree with the previous review, its a film about life and how life is.Not every film is made to make us laugh so I don't really understand the first reviewers comments? Its a sad and tragic story, but extremely watchable, and I didn't feel depressed after watching it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The CinemaScope Cat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At his mother's (Julia Roberts) funeral, her son (Ryan Reynolds) must confront the ghosts of the past that have prevented him from growing into a healthy and complete human being, namely the sadistic tyranny of his thuggish father (Willem Dafoe). The irony is that both are broken men, the son as emotionally cracked as the father. Written and directed by Chinese-American film maker Dennis Lee, the film delicately weaves the present day with the past until it becomes apparent that yet a third generation may be tainted by the sins of the father(s). To the film's credit, there is no catharsis. At the end, everything isn't tied up in a neat little ribbon. The scars are still there and they're not healed but maybe, just maybe, a truce. The film's biggest handicap is the bland Ryan Reynolds who is simply not a strong enough actor to handle the complexities of the part. In his scenes with Dafoe (if the film belongs to anyone, it's Dafoe), Reynolds recedes. Strangely enough, the film shys away from addressing the mother's possible complicity in the child's (Cayden Boyd as the young Reynolds) destruction by standing by and allowing it to happen. With Emily Watson (wonderful as always as Roberts' sister), Hayden Panettiere as the young Watson, Ioan Gruffudd and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The British import (not yet available in the U.S.) courtesy of IndiVision is a solid wide screen (1.78) transfer.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lyndon wilkes on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
i absolutely loved this movie i found it to be thoroughly enjoyable particularly the casting of the actors,this film is an absolute must for all Willem Dafoe fans as this is one of his best roles to date
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By Roadrunner on 1 April 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been buying second hand dvd's as a way to increase my otherwise unaffordable collection. I'm very pleased with my purchases. They have all arrived well packaged, on time and in the quality that has been described [very good].
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