Contrary to Malten's shortsighted review ...
Alan Pollock | San Diego, California | 07/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rather than Depardieu's role being underwritten, it was just right within the rich tableau of the entire movie. His was supposed to be a small role, and just because Depardieu played it doesn't mean it was 'underwritten'. It fit. Rowlands acted superbly - most reviewers I've seen mention this, justifiably. Yet of the major reviewers only Hebert mentioned Marisa Tomei's equally superb performance. Not the same movie without her. She added the necessary spiced vinegar and humor, providing contrast - a sharper edge to what might otherwise have seemed a touch on the sweet side.I'd love to see more movies like this - without great implaccable denouements ending with bombs bursting in air. No, this is a heartfelt, charming movie that entertains throughout without resorting to the cheaper methods of garnering our attention. Yet the pace was there, pulling us along easily.Great acting, unpretentious writing, a lifelike plot - all these elements combine to make Unhook the Stars a thoroughly pleasant watch. Nex"
Lovely Character Study
C. Cook | Ladera Ranch, CA | 09/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "mature" years are so often neglected in film, unless it's as the butt of a joke. Not here, however. The incomporable Gena Rowlands plays a character whose intelligence and self-possession seem an extension of Rowlands herself, making it a very good fit. Seeing a woman who has raised her children and is now searching for what to become is a refreshing storyline. Tomei adds marvelous support as the "white trash" neighbor, and I really appreciated how the director never gave us easy answers for these characters. Tomei never turns into a lady, and Rowlands never quite figures out where she is going: she merely decides to take the journey. The character of Tomei's son adds a touching poignancy to the story, highlighting Rowland's search for identity at this late stage in her life. This film doesn't jump up and tell you what it's about; it quietly presents Rowland's life and lets you figure it out--perhaps this requires a little more thinking than some viewers would like. Unlike other films that on first viewing seem obtuse, all the answers are there in "Unhook the Stars" if the viewer takes time to look for them. Every performance is subtly nuanced and adds to the theme (a good example is the luncheon scene with the adult son and his wife. Watch the subtle interplay between those two and you will know all you need to know abou their relationship-and why Rowlands chooses not to live with them.) This is a terrific film that can be enjoyed by thinking adults, and might particularly speak to men or women who have reached retirement age and are beginning to reevaluate their identity."
Wonderful acting, touching movie
Rhonda C. Elsaesser | Fort Drum, NY USA | 08/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gena Rowlands and Marisa Tomei star in this wonderful movie about two generation helping each other out through life lessons and love. Rowlands is a lonely lady who helps Tomei watch her little boy, and with that Rowlands comes alive again and the boy brings new meaning to her life. Jake Lloyd plays the little boy and he will tug at your heart strings so perfectly. Superbly acted by these fine Oscar winning ladies, this little-known movie is worth it. Sometimes funny, sad, touching, and honest, it tells the truth about what people can do for one another if we are not afraid to give it a try and look beyond ourselves. Unhook the Stars, be real to yourself and those around you, and don't be afraid to give it a chance."
A Bit Icky
Bradley F. Smith | Miami Beach, FL | 09/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The emotional manipulations are a bit much here. The cute kid. The estranged daughter. The next door party girl mom. Gena Rowlands plays a middle aged mom with no one to care for until she 'adopts' the mixed up mess next door. It's a bit improbable because the LA neighborhood looks pretty upscale and way too expensive for the Marisa Tomei loser and her even worse hubby. Still, I'd rather watch this than a shoot em up with no redeeming social value. It's a decent drama. Just not particularly special."