Astutely placed hints begin to drop a scary painting, a recurring nightmare, a terrified little girl that somethings not right with this sticky-sweet scenario and its Capra-esque packaging. Cinematographer Sean Kirby lights us subtly across genres, but the goal here is less to build toward the aha! jolt than to carry us slowly through the emotional experience of unfolding disaster. The acting is great, with excellent backup from Adam Scott as a brash young store manager and Elizabeth Banks as Burstyns worried daughter. Call Lovely, Still life-affirming if you must, but its uplift is designed less to reassure than to honor the difficult process of how we deal when faced with the loss of those we have loved.
Sept. 24-30, 2010