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Up the Sandbox
Up the Sandbox
Actors: Barbra Streisand, David Selby, Ariane Heller, Terry Smith, Gary Smith
Director: Irvin Kershner
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     2003     1hr 37min

A woman contemplates trying to tell her husband she is pregnant yet again, her attempts puncuated by her own fears and fantasies.

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Barbra Streisand, David Selby, Ariane Heller, Terry Smith, Gary Smith
Director: Irvin Kershner
Creators: Gordon Willis, Robert Lawrence, Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, Anne Richardson Roiphe, Paul Zindel
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Barbra Streisand, Fantasy
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/01/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1972
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1972
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Dixie K. (kona-dixy) from KAILUA KONA, HI
Reviewed on 10/19/2010...
Terrific movie about a regular mom in New York City with normal household duties and play dates at the park, etc., who has an overactive imagination. I mean: a sorta interlude with a dancing Castro..telling her mom what she really feels...having her boobs grow while at a cocktail party...a trek to Africa to locate the tribe that has found the secret to painless childbirth...yet always waking up to her reality. Touching & funny & still current.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Barbra's Best Acting
02/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's a film about choices. Choose jealousy, choose controvery, choose adventure, choose abortion? A lonely NYC housewife in the early 70's with 2 children, an ambitious husband and a meddling mother loses herself in dreams and fantasies after learning she is pregnant again. I agree it's the only Streisand film that ever made me forget it was Barbra up there. She was truly captivating as Margaret Reynolds. Great scenes of the Upper West Side of New York at a not particularly attractive time. It was a slice of a young woman's life from a very new, challenging, confusing time in our history, especially for women. The story line certainly seems dated and tame now, but at that time it was truly a provocative and contraversial film."
Gritty Sandbox
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 07/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Margaret Reynolds has an overactive imagination. She imagines confronting her husband's female coworker; her mother. Margaret imagines blowing up the Statue of Liberty with a dream radical-black-boyfriend. She imagines discovering an African Tribe's secret for painless childbirth. And she imagines speaking out for all women at a press conference, and then discovering Fidel Castro's feminine secret!Margaret Reynolds is not crazy. She's just pregnant again - her third child. And she's very uncertain about this moment in her life and who she has become and what society values from her. So her brain tends to take some flights of fancy.
That is the setup for UP THE SANDBOX, a 1972 film that is directed by Irvin Kershner (LOVING and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) and written by the late Paul Zindel. The film is obviously meant to address the women's movement that was burgeoning at that time. Although some of its themes don't translate well 31 years later, most of the film is still relative and challenging today.Barbra Streisand's performance as Margaret is incredible. It's one of her best film roles. Barbra strips down, and plays it very natural here. There are only traces of fast-talking-Brooklyn-Barbra; only one or two FUNNY GIRL line readings. The rest is a different Barbra than we've seen. It makes one wonder what other sort of small film roles she could have done -- she's that remarkable in SANDBOX.SANDBOX won't be for everyone's tastes. When I first saw it in the 1980's I didn't like it. I was confused. The fantasy sequences are not obvious. There are no clichéd Hollywood transitions - no WAYNE'S WORLD "dream sequence" dissolves! The dreams can be confusing. However, if you're a fan of smaller, non-Hollywood or foreign films, one can appreciate UP THE SANDBOX for its subtle accomplishments. In fact, Kershner achieves a dangerous atmosphere by keeping the line between reality and fantasy so close. The audience is disoriented sometimes. Think what it must be like to be Margaret, though!
Gordon Willis' cinematography contributes to the realistic and documentary feel of UP THE SANDBOX. Willis, by using natural lighting and subtle shading, creates a warm but realistic image. Streisand (in her commentary) points out several scenes where Willis' cinematography impresses."The Moviemakers" documentary is a welcomed addition to the DVD. Streisand fans can see some additional footage shot for the African sequence, as well as a lot of behind the scenes shots.Streisand's commentary is enlightening, as is Irvin Kershner's. Kershner, so far, is the one director Barbra speaks the most about in all of the DVD commentary she's provided for this Warner Brother's set. Barbra makes sure to point out son Jason Gould's cameo appearance in the film. It's also interesting to hear Barbra's recollection of her own mother's unannounced visits, which mirrors the scene in the film.I've grown close to several new mothers in my life recently. I don't have children myself, but I have watched and learned about parenthood from them. I couldn't help but think about this while watching UP THE SANDBOX last night. Have things really changed that much in thirty years? Don't women, when pregnant, still question whether to work, how much to work, when to go back to work? And as a woman's life becomes centered around her children and husband, she is still confused about what to do with her own life. Even exercising and eating become difficult when the little ones need her attention. Toward SANDBOX's end, Kershner films a wonderfully surreal fantasy sequence where Margaret considers an abortion after contemplating all of the issues just mentioned. Kershner, Zindel, and Streisand present us with Margaret's decision. UP THE SANDBOX tells us that women don't need to become more like men ... they need to become more like themselves.More info on Barbra Streisand can be found at my fan website "The Barbra Archives"."
Slyly subtle art movie is sometimes alienating...
jon sieruga | Redlands, CA USA | 06/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Barbra Streisand is very good(very un-Streisandy)in this comedic drama about the exploration of an ordinary housewife and mother of two in N.Y.C. whose inner-fantasies explode after finding out she's pregnant for the third time. With a brilliant but busy husband, a harping mother, and a gaggle of girlfriends who mostly worship their men, Streisand's Margaret is confused and conflicted, but not hapless. She's a clever thinker, and the segues into fantasy are slyly done, with many takes on the sexes and role-reversal(the bit with Fidel Castro, and an abortion doctor who could be a man or a woman). I think we're so used to bombastic responses and crazy camera-tricks(from music videos and TV sitcoms)that something quiet and arty like "Up the Sandbox" can go over a lot of viewers' heads(it did in 1972 too). As Streisand's commentary will attest, some of the scenes could have been shaped differently or had more interesting dialogue, but it's a highly original vision, intriguingly directed. And Streisand amazingly slips right into this non-showy role; she's terrific imagining unseen things about a man in an elevator or battling with her domineering mama. She also looks fabulous as photographed by the incomparable Gordon Willis."