Natalie Portman does it again giving a performance as realistic as they come! This may have topped her work in "Black Swan"!
The film may seem like it has a little storyline, simple enough, but it grasps enough backround of all of the characters to make it a bit more complex. The movie works in a line of switching between past moments and present moments showing us how the characters got to the point where they are. Meet Emelia, she's married to Jack, a divorced man with an eight-year old son, William. William is just as complicated as Jack's annoying ex-wife Carolyne and Emelia does all she can to win the affection of William, even though it always turns out bad. With that complicated situation in Emelia's life, she also faces a recent trajedy, the death of her and Jack's newborn baby Isabel, who only lived for three days. With a struggle to find love from William, it only complicates Emelia and Jack's relationship more and she soon finds herself alone in her emotions.
Natalie Portman does it again! Her performance as Emelia is just as fantastic as her latest performance was in "Black Swan", if not better. In the past two months, Portman has released three different films, "Black Swan", "No Strings Attached", and this. She never seems to disappoint in any performance and there is no differance here. This is why Portman stands as one of the best actresses' of our time. Yes, I stand by that statement. Portman's character, Emelia, is as real as they come. Emelia's broken, but watching her trying to stand strong through the entire movie is heartbreaking. "The Other Woman" is a film in which actually does a great job with the crafting of each charac ter, all having a point, all having a situation they can't seem to solve.Lisa Kudrow ("Friends") plays a role unlike her usual genre. Normally playing the goofy, obnoxious type here she plays Carolyne, while still obnoxious but very serious about everything as well. Before seeing the movie I never imagined Kudrow to do as well as she did and I'm happy she proved me wrong. Charlie Tahan, playing eight-year old William reminded me of the kid from "The Switch" in every scene he was in. His bright, know-it-all character with Portman's character was great and their chemistry was fantastic. Scott Cohen as Jack, Emelia's husband, also gives a solid performance. I'm not too familar with anything he's done from the past, but, I'd like to see him do more in the future.
Don Roos wrote and directed this film based off the novel by Ayelet Waldman. With a story that seems simple, Roos crafts it into something much more complicated than it could have been, which makes it much more marvellous. His skill with the dialog between Emelia and William is great and his mellow-dramatic scenes can be breath-taking. As for the direction, I loved Roos' shots of the city. His zoom-in shots were perfect and I loved his idea of having one scene in particular in split-screen using one frame for the past, present, and future. It made it all the more emotional and realistic. If your interested in other works from Don Roos, he directed 2005's "Happy Endings" and wrote 2008's "Marley and Me".
The film does a great job balancing humor with drama. It places dry-humor when most needed especially in the scenes between William and Emelia. While their scenes can sometimes be over-dramatic, they can also be hilarious, as well. I loved Emelia's sarcastic-wit to most of William's comments, being hilarious each time.
It normally takes alot for me to learn something from a movie. A lesson, I mean. Having growing up with a stepmother myself, "The Other Woman" did a fine job making me feel guility for the ways I treated mine growing up. My family didn't have the complications of getting through a newborn's death, but, like William, I'd do all I could to get my stepmother in trouble with my father and never care at all. Before watching this movie I'd never think it'd take a toll on my childhood and had me thinking of something I'd never think I'd care about today.
Overall, "The Other Woman" is a fantastic little movie that stands as the best film of 2011 thus far. It's fantastic script brings out the best of each actor in the film making it feel more real. This is a movie that doesn't deserve to be looked away from and it not getting a wide-release is a mistake because I know it could have sucedded more. It sure deserved it.
Thanks for the read!
By the New Screeny! :D