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< Entertainment >

New Movie Reviews

"The Upside of Anger"

by Michael Handorf
Handorf@comcast.net

Joan Allen. Kevin Costner. Drama.

Synopsis: A woman’s husband leaves with his secretary, which results in his wife coping with raising four daughters by swimming in vodka.

Review: I would have argued that this is the second best film that I’ve seen this year. But since Million Dollar Baby is being granted a 2004 release date (because it was in LA or NY for one weekend in 2004), then I might as well play ball. So The Upside of Anger claims the top spot right now.

Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) finds that her husband has run off with his secretary (to Sweden, no less). She is left with a large home, some property that a group of developers have been eyeing, and four daughters who are all teenagers at the beginning of the film.

Throughout the film, Terry is drunk or angry, or a combination of the two.

One of her neighbors is Denny Davies (Costner), a former baseball player turned radio talk show host for a smaller radio station in Detroit. Denny is the ‘face guy’ for the land development project, trying to encourage the individual landowners to sell their lots.

Denny has always had a thing for Terry, and she tacitly approves his presence since she could use a drinking buddy.

Their relationship progresses through some obstacles, but this film is really about the relationship between Terry and her daughters. She is frustrated by the actions of three of them. Terry particularly can’t understand why one of her middle daughters is so concerned with hurting her father’s feelings in a letter the daughter intends to send.

This is not a Kevin Costner film - it is all about Joan Allen. She is spectacular - the best I’ve seen this year. If you want to see a desperate housewife, this should be the vehicle.

The acting is solid on all fronts, including Kerri Russell and Evan Rachel Wood.

You’ll be disappointed if you miss this film.

OVERALL GRADE: A-

 

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