Synopsis: After nearly two decades under the wing of an aging, avuncular husband (Alan Arkin), dutiful mother and housewife Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) undergoes a midlife breakthrough. Unearthing the sexually curious wi... more »ld child of teens (as portrayed by Blake Lively), middle age Pippa sparks a relationship with a divorcee loner (Keanu Reeves). The Private Lives of Pippa Lee features Wright Penn in a revelatory performance as a resilient woman, refusing to let life pass her by.
Written by award-winning screenwriter and director Rebecca Miller, daughter of renowned playwright Arthur Miller.
Critics are saying it is Robin Wright Penn s tour de force performance and award buzz has already begun! the difference between growing old and growing up.
Produced by Plan B Entertainment, Brad Pitt s Production Company!« less
"My husband picked up this DVD on a whim, thinking I might like it, and he was right! "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" is a thoughtful, leisurely-paced drama about a woman who though anchored in a stable relationship in the present, is haunted by her turbulent past. Robin Wright Penn plays Pippa Lee, a sort of prim and proper wife to an aging yet indomitable older man, Herb (Alan Arkin). The couple have recently moved to a retirement community, though Herb, who has already suffered previous heart attacks, refuses to buckle down and lead a quiet life. Pippa who is 30 years younger than Herb, tries her utmost to take care of her husband, despite his protestations and suffers from exhaustion, finding herself spacing out, binge eating in the middle of the night (but having no recollections of it later), and finds herself experiencing flashback moments of her younger days.
The movie flows well between the past and the present. We see baby Pippa being initially shunned by her mother Suky (Maria Bello) for being overly hairy as an infant, and how this relationship changes over time. As Pippa grows (the teenage Pippa is played by Gossip Girl's Blake Lively), a close relationship forms between Suky and her daughter, but Suky's own deteriorating mental health and over-dependence on anti-depressants causes a friction in their relationship. Pippa runs away, meeting interesting characters along the way - photographer (Julianne Moore), successful publisher Herb (Arkin),co-dependent friend (Winona Ryder in a great supporting role), and a store clerk (Keanu Reeves). Having settled down to a sedate married life, Pippa ponders her life's purpose, and some startling revelations throw her scheduled life off-balance.
Robin Wright delivers a finely nuanced performance, and the excellent supporting cast make this movie an above average viewing experience. There is a great deal of character development, insights, and self-introspection here - a woman who has been so driven to care for others (husband, son, daughter), that she has lost her own identity along the way, choosing to 'settle' instead. Will Pippa Lee set herself free? The movie credibly addresses this question and the compelling performances by the lead actress and supporting cast make it a worthwhile watch. "
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee - Screen Media Films - Blu-ra
Carlos E. Velasquez | 03/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a male-dominated industry like Hollywood, it is refreshing once in a while to watch a movie in which the main character is a woman (Robin Wright). It is additionally rewarding - a bonus, if you will -- if the director is also a woman (Rebecca Miller, who wrote the story). The result, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," is satisfying and remarkable. This film touches you and stays with you.
The story is about Pippa Sarkissian (Wright) - who would later become Pippa Lee --, an attractive woman with a troubled past, reaching middle age, who is trying to get her life together. Her mother Suky (the always dependable Maria Bello) was moody and addicted to antidepressants, and was repulsed by Pippa when she was born, because she was hairy. However, this situation improved throughout the years, and Suky got very attached to Pippa. Unfortunately, her mother's problems persisted, and Pippa eventually had to leave home. After some time living carelessly by herself, she finds Herb Lee (Alan Arkin), a man thirty years her senior, who happens to be a successful publisher. They get married and life appears to be good for everyone. That is, until Pippa's past begins haunting her -- a situation that is worsened by her current problems.
This is a real life drama, spiked with humor, especially provided by Wynona Ryder, in a surprising supporting role. It examines a woman's life that "keeps swinging back and forth from generation to generation, getting it wrong." Robin Wright shines as Pippa Lee, and Arkin as her husband. The magnificent cast also includes Blake Lively (as Pippa in her younger years) Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore, Shirley Knight, and Keanu Reeves. The Blu-ray edition includes commentaries by Wright and Miller, and interviews with Wright, Arkin, and Lively. (USA, 2009, color, 98 min plus additional materials)
Reviewed by Eric Gonzales exclusively for [...] on March 1, 2010."
Good film, decent Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 02/28/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Screen Media hardly ever puts any money into their BDs (as is the case here again) but Rebecca Miller put together a good story told in a less than simple way.
The story follows the life (if told lineally) of a woman from birth to her rebirth as an older woman (Robin Wright). Along this journey we jump back and forth in her time line as we see the different lives she has led. Mario Bello competently played her drug addled mother, Alan Arkin her much older husband, with some interesting short roles from Monica Belucci and Winona Ryder. The criticism I have read regarding confusion and casting choices to play the same person I can see having some validity, but I enjoyed the challenge of figuring things out while watching this. Keanu is once again picked to play a non-emotional role and he does it fine. The Blu quality is standard at times, above average in others. The vehicle motion scenes are difficult to figure out though, as they chose to film with the windows rolled up in each scene so the resulting reflections are always blurring the scenes - really the only shortcoming of the Blu quality. The DTS gets used infrequently and the special feature of interviews from a screening lasts only a few minutes and is forgettable. The commentary was adequate but as admitted by Wright - a little awkward to do at times.
You would be getting this for the performances alone, but I do not think there would be any significant disappointment in the BD either. No region coding listed, English and Spanish subs only."
Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" | Fresno, California | 04/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After sleepwalking through her life for two decades, with her much older husband (Alan Arkin), who offers the avuncular support of a mentor, Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) suddenly begins to explore her previous incarnations. She begins to reexamine her life and her choices. At this crossroads, she flashes on her life and her past, (portrayed by Blake Lively), especially on her "wild" side, in order to figure out what she wants and needs.
But just as she is about to take a drastic step, something else happens that shakes everything up.
Finally, taking a leap onto a completely different path, with the companionship of a younger man (Keanu Reeves), who is like a kindred soul, Pippa Lee's journey toward the next part of her life begins.
In The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Robin Wright Penn brings in a stunning and revelatory performance that pinpoints the moments in life when we are forced to move out of our "sleepwalking" existence and really choose to live. "
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 03/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How many of us look back at our lives and reflect on our wild times and what it took to settle down? Most often, we might think it is luck that has brought us this far. And, when we found our life, were we happy, was this the life we really wanted or did we settle for this safer life of ours?
Pippa Lee, played by Robin Wright is fifty. Her husband, Alan Arkin, is thirty years older. They have moved from New York City to a retirement community in Connecticut. This is presumably to make life easier for both of them. However, Pippa is not happy, she does not have much to do now and we wonder, who made this decision to move? She had met her husband years ago when she was at the end of her wild drug, hippie stage and he had saved her. They had two children and were happy. Or were they? Pippa starts to sleep walk, she is filled with tension and stress her therapist tells her- she needs a hobby. She takes up pottery and is kicked out of class for calling the instructor names. She is unsettled and her past life catches up with her. Her mother who was obsessed with her as well as obsessed with the Dexedrine she was taking, her life with her aunt after she ran away from home, and the life she has now. She uncovers an interesting relationship of her husbands and finds one for herself. Pippa is on her way to finding her life.
This film written and directed by Rebecca Miller is filled with remarkable characters and actors "Zoe Kazan as Pippa's daughter, Grace, a headstrong photojournalist; Robin Wright as Pippa's kindhearted lesbian aunt Trish; and Julianne Moore as Trish's ferocious lover Kat, who enlists Pippa to pose with another woman for sadomasochist photos. Winona Ryder as Pippa's histrionic best friend, Sandra, and Shirley Knight as her blowzy next-door neighbor Dot, are also memorable. Keanu Reeves, his chest tattooed with a portrait of Jesus, plays Dot's glum, compulsively honest son." Stephen Holden
This is a film of a marriage that has come and gone, the ups and downs and the fun and the anger. Most of us have been there and unsettling is the most dramatic. What will happen, how will it end, you never know.