All Is Bright (2013) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Two French Canadian ne'er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this fresh buddy comedy co-starring Sally Hawkins, by the director of the indie breakout hit Junebug. Runtime: 107 mins Release Date: 03 Sep 2013
A rare movie that doesn't stereotype struggling poor people (by jac-berry)
A rare movie that doesn't portray struggling poor people as linguistically-challenged, trash-dressing, immoral gun-wielding drunk meth-heads. And as no-nonsense sensitive as you might expect from Phil Morrison, the director of 'Junebug', and Melissa James Gibson, the writer of many 'House of Cards' episodes. So refreshingly real, and so much talent on all sides, actors included. Of course, Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd are great as always, as is British Sally Hawkins see Mike Leigh's 'Happy-Go-Lucky', Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine', etc. , playing a <more>
Polish immigrant with a heart as big as her accent. The final scenes may seem a bit of a positive stretch, but you're sure ready for one by then, and movies do need to provide us a little fantasy, or else, what's the point?
a flawed mirror too beautiful to not look into (by omayfield)
what an startling film this is. delicate, crystalline, complicated, pure. there are four motifs repeated here... smoking, theft, poverty, and humanity. the first three are agonies. they twist us, they defile us, they make us smaller and darker and less able to realize ourselves and to see each other. the fourth is our only hope, and surprisingly, it is not out of reach. even now, even here. i guess the original title of this movie was Almost Christmas, and now All Is Bright, but i would have called it that... Even Now, Even Here. the writer, Melissa James Gibson, must be a remarkable person, <more>
well traveled if not in the world then in her head and heart. she gives us fresh tasty layers of french Canadian, tabarac! , and a little Inuit and black African and such a wonderfully precise, carved and sculpted Russian individual that i found my inner voice speaking in her hauntingly wrong accent for days after meeting her. "You must have Russian blood." Sally Hawkins says ruefully, sadly. "Why?" Paul Giamatti asks, "Because you do what you must." some movies leave you wanting to see more of the movie, this one left me wanting it to not be a movie at all. i wanted to meet and to continue to be with these people. i still wonder and worry about them, even now. that these big stars would find this script attractive is impressive and gives me hope because surely there is no box office here. turn away ye tweens in your millions, there are no lusting vampires here. and nothing is 3D. there is one gun in the movie, but it needs to be there and it only exists to break hearts, it isn't sexy just as real guns never are. i had forgotten what a precise and life affirming artist Sally Hawkins is since Happy Go Lucky years ago. a poet also needs to be a surgeon, and this actress whose characters are so much like poems would no more betray a gesture or slaughter a syllable than a surgeon might misplace a vein. just to see her work again is worth the time. i remember one scene... a man is trying to talk another man into doing a burglary and when he resists, he grabs a saw and holds it against his friend's throat. whats next? karate chop? car chase? CGI zombies with Mr Pitt in dull pursuit? no. the threatened man reaches over and touches his friend's face. he gets it. he feels the humanity in himself and the other, and he knows the desperation and the cause. that's a good thing. straight men should be able to touch each others face if the need arises, but how often are we allowed to in real life, much less in film? the peevish puny pecking side of me wants to criticize when the movie is unreal, i am too big a fan of realness, i confess. like the absurdity that a Steinway grand piano is a portable gift that plays well in the snow, or that a dingy disloyal woman who sits on her front steps and smokes would have hair that anyone would want to smell. and that loud and glaring final song, although pretty enough, makes us feel that we are being preached at under a neon sign instead of just simply being shared with, which is all we ever wanted. but these are small complaints when all i really come away with is gratitude for amazingly intelligent work. if you have no soul or mind, or want to abandon yours, go see Now You See Me. if you want to spend real time with our flawed and fragile human mirrors, artfully portrayed, see this. jusboutded/salon/blog
Broke homeless man needs a job, and makes up on things he did wrong. (by Adargi)
The wry tone of "All Is Bright," a sardonic, smart screwball comedy that teams Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd as professional thieves trying to "go straight" by selling Christmas trees in New York City, is defined by its droll soundtrack of holiday favourite's. Familiar carols are reduced to bouncy instrumental elevator music with a hint of jazz and a smirk on its face.Dennis Mr. Giamatti , recently released from prison after serving four years for robbery, and his partner, Rene Mr. Rudd , a safe-cracker, live in rural Quebec. Rene didn't show up for their last <more>
escapade, abandoning Dennis, who was arrested at the scene. While Dennis was incarcerated, Rene hooked up with his wife, Therese Amy Landecker , who told their 7-year-old daughter, Michi Tatyana Richaud , that her father had died of cancer. Rene is still married to another woman but has promised to wed Therese as soon as his wife agrees to a divorce.How can Dennis bear to work with the man who left him holding the bag, then stole the woman for whom he still pines? As they say, beggars can't be choosers. The two are also longtime buddies, and Dennis, who is penniless, unemployed and on the brink of homelessness, is desperate. Laying a guilt trip on Rene, Dennis pressures him to take him on in the Christmas tree business. Even though Dennis is not allowed to leave the area while on parole, they load up a truck with trees and drive to New York.These oddballs couldn't be more dissimilar. Dennis, a splenetic sad sack with a hangdog expression and a temper that could explode at any second, is very smart. The maddeningly goofy Rene is a compulsive talker with a streak of the ham actor in him. When their tree-selling enterprise gets off to a slow start, he affects the accent and rustic airs of Quebecois woodsman to charm potential buyers. Just when their business seems about to go bust, the last-minute rush for trees delivers a horde of customers."All Is Bright" is the first movie in eight years directed by Phil Morrison, who made a splash with his 2005 debut, "Junebug," a bittersweet family drama set in his home state, North Carolina. On the surface, the new film has little in common with "Junebug" except for its attention to psychological detail and its fondness for offbeat characters and respect for actors.With its affection for downscale characters who dart in and out of the men's lives, "All Is Bright" has an openhandedness reminiscent of a Preston Sturges film. The screenplay, by Melissa James Gibson, a playwright who is a story editor of the TV series "The Americans," is devoid of laugh-out-loud jokes, but it has a continuing thread of bittersweet humour as Dennis and Rene interact with people in the neighbourhood, many of whom are struggling.The most endearing character, Olga Sally Hawkins, in a scene-stealing role , is the tough-tender Russian maid and house sitter for a pair of well-to-do dentists who are out of town. Olga befriends Dennis after she becomes his first customer, and he delivers and helps her install her tree. She doesn't seem to mind that his casual, compulsive thievery leads him to pocket expensive items from the dentists' well-appointed apartment.Olga plays the piano, as does Dennis's daughter. Dennis's decision to steal a piano for Michi is the story's paradoxical moral fulcrum. His reversion to criminality enables a genuinely selfless act.
Good Christmas despair movie (by pj-naturalfinance)
I wouldn't call this a comedy. But it is touching and a serious account of struggling for Christmas.There is brilliant subtlety in the plot and ending that is easily not noticed.Part of the film's charm is rooting the origins of Christmas in Quebec, where it deserves to be.The movie is neither depressing nor uplifting while staying interesting, and the choice to make it so is interesting.This is definitely worth seeing. Don't expect too much. Though this is arguably Giamatti's best acting since that wine tasting movie.
All is bright, it just depends from where you look (by luana_rrr)
I went in to watch this movie expecting it to be a lot more sugary, maybe some poor guys discover the meaning of Christmas and everything is glowing in the end.I was wrong. Sort of.This movie teaches you a few things if you're willing to see them: - Sometimes life just won't cut you a break, no matter how noble your intentions or how much you suffer or work - you may discover you're dedicated to goals that much surpass your personal well-being and give up any rewards if only you can see them fulfilled.The storyline is simple: guy, Dennis Paul Giamatti , gets out of prison, wife <more>
tells him to go away and announces that their daughter now thinks he's dead. Wife also announces that she's about to marry a good friend of his, Rene Paul Rudd , just as soon as he gets his divorce. With no house, money, or family, Dennis asks Rene to take him to New York on his yearly tree selling trip. Both men are resolute to not commit any felonies anymore – this becoming a comedic point because from the get go, they're not exactly law abiding. Dennis leaves the country although he's released under parole, and hides in the truck among the trees to pass customs. He threatens other sellers as soon as they arrive, steals petty stuff at any chance he gets. When the season ends and they count the good money, they get robbed by a guy who earlier pretended to be blind – at which point by the way he had the funniest line in the movie. At the end they plan a robbery to the wealthy house where a woman they became friends with worked. They're not stealing what you'd expect, and I'll leave it at that.Other commenter criticized the fact that they didn't put the money in the bank. Well, for one they're cons so they don't think that way, and then they're cons and have records, you can't just walk into a bank and then start sending funds to your account from another country.It's the obscure/dark humor, hopeless and sad humor at the same time, combined with the survival situation to achieve relatively small, but unattainable goals, that give the movie its character.Some characters are delicately crafted: the Russian woman they befriend is a simple house maid in some dentist's house. She is poor, and shares the same passion as Dennis' daughter – playing the piano.Rene is added depth when his current wife announces she'll give him a divorce. He's not happy, he's not celebrating – he is devastated he didn't even take her on a honeymoon. Granted he's a hypocrite because he's trying to marry another woman, but still it was a different reaction from what you'd expect.Dennis and Rene remain in a hanging-by-a-thread kind of relationship, and that thread is survival. Dennis, despite what you'd expect from an ex con, cares about his ex wife and daughter so much that he's willing to stick it out, and stick up for, with the guy who took them from him in order to give his daughter a gift that he promised in his mind, and in order to not make his wife suffer because of Rene's behavior. "Why would I lie for him?" While they're making a tree sale to 2 guys, Dennis actually has a breakdown about how Rene stole his wife and the 2 guys are strongly on his side and encourage him to do all that he can to get her back. That's the voice of the viewer, I'd say, because that's what other movies teach you to want. I like to interpret Dennis not following this path of action as the selfless choice of reason: his wife and daughter have been through a lot while he was in prison and managed to rebuild their lives. They seem happy and do not show signs of wanting him back. He realizes his fight to get them back will very likely be unsuccessful, and would add hardship to the wife's already tough time. So he chooses to step back not without a few desperation fits – with the last gesture of getting his kid a piano, by any means. And by this gesture he does not aim to be the hero, to be lauded and acknowledged. He just wants to make his kid happy even without the reward of "good daddy".I'm not surprised that the film has a low score and few reviews. It's not a general public type of film, and it's not an American type of film as it's not rewarding to watch - all things don't get fixed up by the end. Both Pauls are remarkable in their roles, they make believable and deep characters. Sally Hawkins is funny and quirky as the Russian girl. I have nothing to say about Amy Landecker as the wife. This for me is also a good point of the movie: she's a regular woman with a kid and real problems, she's not a trophy.The film has a nice offbeat rhythm that I enjoyed and that fits well with my understanding of how films should be music too – but that has no place here . I hope there are viewers out there who feel the same.
I really liked this film - like many of Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd's movies. They seem to go for interesting characters and quiet, realistic stories rather than sentimental or violent American claptrap.It's a movie well worth watching more than once - there are nuances and side remarks I missed out the first time. Don't watch if you are into smartarse one-liners, car chases or beautiful young rich airheads covered in heavy make-up. More reminiscent of British/European films before they started targeting the US market. The characters are neither supergood nor evil - just human and <more>
Solid 8. Great Can/Am movie. I really liked Giamatti's character in this movie. He just does what he has to. Not a bad man, just a man learning as he goes, and taking what he needs when he needs it.He look a lot like he did in Crumb, just beaten. Rudd is very good as a man who is always up, and never shuts up. I see him in the mirror Excellent characters in the movie as a whole. This will not be your must watch Christmas movie like Scrooged, or ACS, or most importantly IAWL you old savings, and loan but you will enjoy it, and feel the spirit of the season move you just that little bit. <more>
Going straight in this world is all about trying to keep all the crooked steps in the same direction. Enjoy.