Top positive review
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a highly original trip through one boy's imagination
on 18 January 2016
Stockard Channing brings real class to this film, and towards the end seems to get more and more stylish as the emotional temperature rises ... She plays Ouisa Kittredge, who works with her husband Flan (Donald Sutherland) as a New York art dealer, sealing deals for millions, with a flat overlooking Central Park. Into their lives bursts a young man - Paul - saying he has just been mugged, who spins them a yarn that has them and their guest (and the viewer) eating his every word, as well as a gourmet meal he throws together for them. The film sounds an original note, and has a dizzying plot that certainly holds the interest and is a lot of fun. The tone is vaguely satirical, but not too much - certainly the life of privilege is shown to be somewhat self-regarding, which Ouisa unconsciously wants to reject ... A clue to this is her brattish children, who, along with their friends' children, are the epitome of spoilt, obnoxious offspring who have been given everything and turn out badly. The scenes with them do grate, but the film is certainly worth sticking with. Paul, brilliantly and sexily played by Will Smith, is dynamite in this world, but stretches sympathy about as far as it can go ... A young hand-to-mouth couple from Utah feature all too briefly, charmingly played by Heather Graham and Eric Thal. They introduce a quite different note, although by this time the hugely imaginative story has you reeling in any case. The final twenty minutes do get to something quite rare and remarkable, much of it on the phone ... It takes a time to get there, but the pathos does kick in eventually, posing myriad questions about life as it does so, but somehow held off like a mirage.