Anywhere But Here

1999

Comedy / Drama

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 63% · 89 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55% · 25K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.2/10 10 18748 18.7K

Director

Top cast

Thora Birch as Mary
Natalie Portman as Ann August
Susan Sarandon as Adele August
Ashley Johnson as Sarah
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.02 GB
1280*550
English 2.0
PG-13
us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 25
2.1 GB
1920*824
English 5.1
PG-13
us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by khatcher-2 6 / 10

fine pairing; discreet directing

Susan Sarandon has amply shown that she is capable of turning her hand to most kinds of rôles and is especially adept at teaming up with youngsters. This is no less so in this film with the prodigious Natalie Portman: the two keep the film interesting when almost everything else is a rather blasé prêt-a-porté production, mostly due to Wayne Wang's rather uninspired directing, as well as a music score that has very little to do with the proceedings and did nothing to fill in any stop-gaps.

The film is saved precisely by the Sarandon-Portman tandem providing an energetic display of a mother, divorced, skidding along frenetically almost hysterically, and her adolescent daughter trying to keep her young head on her shoulders and pointing in the right direction. The result is an interesting clash of personalities, veering from the dramatic to the humorous in a style which is not far from being a `road-movie'. Indeed, frequently, reminiscences of `Thelma and Louis' come to mind as the film unfurls, though `Anywhere but Here' is several rungs lower down on the ladder.

Even so, my vote is slightly higher than the IMDb average. Hopefully we shall be able to enjoy a true drama with these two ladies in the future, but with a more exiguous director – Stephen Daldry, perhaps?

Reviewed by The Woof 7 / 10

Good movie takes you on journey of discovery for a mother and daughter...

This film was a new direction for Natalie Portman. A much more adult role, though she comes to it from the traces of a child in the movie itself. Ann,(Portman) and Susan Sarandon, who plays her newly divorced mother, Adele, travel from a small town in the middle of nowhere to Beverly Hills. There these tortured souls try to come to terms with their new life and their new relationship as Portman's character grows up. Unknowingly at first to Adele, she grows up and becomes a better mother for it.

Ann sees her mother telling her she wants to be an actress, or so she thinks. Adele uses that crutch every time there are problems in their lives. We see their struggle as mother and daughter come to terms between themselves and with being alone, having left their old lives behind.

The acting is top notch from both of them. They seemingly become mother and daughter before your eyes. You can almost feel there is a bond there beyond the actual movie.

Though this movie really doesn't take us to any new ground in these types of films, the fact that the acting is well done, and the story isn't too flawed, let's me recommend it.

I will say however, it will probably go away soon, I don't believe it can have the staying power needed for a huge Christmas season of movies starting in a week or so. See it now before this happens if you like either of these actresses.

Reviewed by steve.schonberger 5 / 10

Natalie Portman is the reason to see it

The good news about this movie is that the acting is outstanding. The bad news is that you have to sit through the story to see the acting. Note: There may be a few mild spoilers in this review.

The story in this movie was on the level of a typical television family drama. Aside from some moments of inspiration, it was mostly a series of scenes of a family -- in this case, a precocious teenage girl and her immature mother -- struggling through life. In this case, the struggling is all because the mother kept doing dumb things with her life.

The mother Adele (Sarandon) failed, again and again, to live a grown-up life. Rather than provide for her daughter Ann (Portman), she kept making bad choices that made life difficult for both of them. And rather than emotionally supporting Ann, she chased her own fantasy life, and tried to get Ann to live a fantasy life too.

First, Adele ran out on a decent, responsible, gainfully-employed husband because he wasn't glamorous enough. Then she bought a car she couldn't afford, ate restaurant meals she couldn't afford, and failed to pay utility bills. She bounced between apartments, skipping out on the leases of some because they were dumps, and on others because she got behind on the rent. She quit a decent teaching job during a strike -- not because the strike pay was too little, but because she didn't want to bother walking the picket line. She ran stop signs and parked illegally, and didn't pay the tickets. She pursued dead-end romances, and ignored promising ones.

Adele was just as lost when it came to taking care of Ann's emotional needs. Rather than helping Ann through problems by talking, she took her out for ice cream. When Ann's friends were over to study, Adele made an embarrassing scene, driving the friends away. She fantasized about Ann becoming an actress, and pressured her into auditions even though Ann wasn't interested. She tried to defeat Ann's ambitions of going away to college, because she didn't want to face Ann's eventual departure. Sure, she loved her daughter, but mostly in a clingy, unsupportive way.

The one good thing I could say about Adele: At least she wasn't an alcoholic or a drug addict. Her sensible behavior at the end of the movie was too out-of-character to count in her favor.

Although kids like Ann occasionally thrive in spite of such an unstable, unsupportive environment, her ability to do so made her a somewhat unlikely character. The best way I can explain it is teenage rebellion: Where ordinary kids might rebel by taking risks and behaving irresponsibly, Ann rebelled against Adele's irresponsibility by throwing herself into her school work and her after-school job, wishing for a "normal" life. Adele gave her almost every possible reason to fail, and Ann rejected them all.

Enough about the story. The good news about this movie was wonderful acting.

Natalie Portman's performance is so good the only way she can miss an Oscar is if Academy voters count the movie's script against her. She made Ann real. I could feel her determination to overcome each problem her mother caused. I could see her anger when her mother tried to smooth over each indignity with an ice cream bribe. I felt her hope when she applied for admission to a university, and her despair when that hope failed.

The highlight of the entire movie (including the story) was when Ann finally gave in to Adele's fantasy of Ann as an actress, and went to an audition. She was so good that the casting people should have hired her on the spot, promising to pay off Adele's bad debts, pay her way through the university of her dreams, even if it was just a bit part.

Portman has been wonderful in all three of the movies where I've seen her. She's now three for three in movies I've seen. She was the most memorable actress in Beautiful Girls, where she turned a smallish supporting role into one of the highlights of the movie. Then she was the queen in the latest Star Wars movie, where she was the only one who really managed to make the corny dialogue sound real. Here she has the starring role, and shows she can maintain her great talent through an entire feature.

Susan Sarandon acted very well too, but the script didn't give her a great deal of opportunity to show off her talent. She didn't manage to make Adele likable in any way, although maybe no one could have accomplished that. (Or maybe we weren't supposed to like her.) Sarandon did the important job, which was to carry Portman from one wonderfully acted scene to another.

The supporting roles were well-acted too, particularly the dam photographer.

This movie wastes outstanding acting on a mediocre story.

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