Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
Nicole Holofcener’s (Lovely & Amazing) spiky comedy of liberal guilt ultimately reveals itself as a perceptive, rounded portrait of a handful of middle-class Manhattan women, bound together by family ties and real estate envy. Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) run a successful vintage furniture business, fend off the demands of their feisty unhappy teenage daughter, and watch the comings and goings in the place next door: it will be theirs to expand into once the snarly old woman (crackingly funny Ann Guilbert) who’s their tenant either moves out or dies. The two grand-daughters (Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet) who visit the old grouch, one willingly, one not so, complete the picture. — BG
“Kate, the Manhattanite wife and mother played by Catherine Keener in Nicole Holofcener’s marvelously observed new domestic drama Please Give, is a vivid catalog of ambivalences familiar to millions of women of a certain boomer age and socioeconomic level.
…Kate is a close relative of the complicated women who regularly populate Holofcener’s smart, articulate, female-centric movies – women previously played by Keener in Walking and Talking (1996); Lovely & Amazing (2001); and Friends With Money (2006)… In Please Give, the sharp-eyed filmmaker sends her vibrant representative out into the world to explore what it means for a woman to be lucky and still feel itchy. The report has the resonant ring of truth.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
“Holofcener has a gift for reconciling even the most horrid of her characters to one another and her audience to everyone on the screen.” — Amy Taubin, Film Comment