Blu-ray Lymelife [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 6307455),
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Rory Culkin (MEAN CREEK) stars in the coming-of-age drama LYMELIFE. Set in 1970s Long Island, the film has a WONDER YEARS feel with its friendly spats between brothers and a major crush on the all-American girl next door. As 15-year-old Scott, Culkin shares the screen with real-life brother Kieran Culkin, whose character, Jimmy, is just returning home on a break from the army. While Scott pines for his best friend, Adrianna (Emma Roberts), his family slowly unravels all around him. Alec Baldwin delivers a predictably solid performance as Scott's meandering, sometimes heartless dad, but this role feels quite similar to ones we've seen him play in the past. Jill Hennessy is well-cast as Scott's weary mother, as are Cynthia Nixon playing against type as a ditzy housewife, and Timothy Hutton as her Lyme-diseased husband. While their parents sloppily mess their way through the world of marriage and affairs, Scott and Adrianna explore a more genuine kind of romance.
It is the young cast members who really shine, with Rory Culkin driving the film's emotional core. More than five years since starring in IGBY GOES DOWN, Kieran Culkin shows a new maturity here. The real-life brothers display true chemistry (thanks in part to on-screen improvisation), and Roberts is charming as Adrianna. The joint effort of brothers Derick and Steven Martini, LYMELIFE was penned, directed, and produced by the brother pair, who wrote the script about their own teen years. Artful cinematography and a classic soundtrack come together in capturing the easily lost wonder of youth.
Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Alexander Rae Baldwin, Cynthia Nixon, Kieran Culkin, Jill Hennessy, Jillian Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Tim Hutton, Adam Scarimbolo
Sometime late in LYMELIFE the director Derick Martini cuts to a close-up of a weeping teenager....Its an unexpectedly moving image, a reminder that the close-up, in its ability to bring us near to the poetry of the human face, remains one of cinemas most potent if often squandered techniques.
New York Times
[A] fine chronicle of disaffection, dissolution and lust on Long Island in the 1970s...
"[T]his keenly observed film wrenches gallows humor out of a crumbling family....It's a movie that gets under the skin."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 4 -- "[An] absorbing and well-acted tale of two unhappy families in 1979 suburbia....The writing -- by director Derick Martini and his brother Steven -- is sharp, funny and sometimes emotionally raw."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The film is about the distance between the ideal and the real....A tender, sometimes painful, sometimes blackly comic, story. The film's characters are not types but particular people..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a well-observed script....The characters' complexity and some top performances give it weight."
"With its middle-class setting, its coming-of-age themes, its domestic drama, its father-son conflict, LYMELIFE may be setting up home in a plot familiar from indies such as THE ICE STORM, IMAGINARY HEROES, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and ADVENTURELAND, but it matches all these for quality."
Sight and Sound
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