Monday, 26 April 2010


Icon Home Entertainment
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray

“I think I may be having a very quiet nervous breakdown,” Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) ponders to a friend, and she may very well be right. Having recently moved from the city to what appears to be a retirement village, for the health of her much older husband, Herb (Alan Arkin), Pippa's thoughts have begun to wander to the past.

She's haunted by thoughts of her medication-dependent mother (Maria Bello), whom she fears she may be slowly becoming. She's also recalling the experimental phase in her youth (Pippa Lee is played here by Blake Lively) where she first met Herb, then married to an heiress (Monica Bellucci).

Her present day life is further complicated by a daughter (Zoe Kazan) who seems to hate her, and Pippa Lee's anxieties manifesting themselves in bouts of sleepwalking. The attentions of a neighbour's son, Chris (Keanu Reeves), will either complicate or clarify matters for her.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is directed by Rebecca Miller, adapted from her own novel of the same name, and I think it perhaps may have worked better on the page. Pippa Lee spends a lot of time in her own mind which is much easily conveyed in a novel than it is in a film, despite the use of flashbacks (where Julianne Moore makes an amusing but all-too-brief appearance).

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