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Storytelling (2002)

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Selma Blair, Mark Webber, Leo Fitzpatrick, Robert Wisdom, John Goodman, Julie Hagerty, Noah Fleiss, Jonathan Osser, Lupe Ontiveros, Aleksa Palladino, Mike Schank, Franka Potente, Xander Berkeley

Director(s): Todd Solondz

Language: English

Genre: Social Drama

Synopsis

Director Todd Solondz (WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, HAPPINESS) presents this characteristically bleak and darkly comic drama in two distinct parts. The first story, "Fiction" stars Selma Blair as Vi, a confused university student who engages in an impulsive tryst with her Pulitzer Prize-winning professor (Robert Wisdom) after arguing with her cerebral palsy-afflicted boyfriend (Leo Fitzpatrick). The second (and longer) tale, "Non-Fiction," stars Paul Giamatti as Toby, a down-on-his-luck documentary... [Get complete synopsis]

 

motleymitch wrote on November 22, 2006, 9:42 am
Rated
Though this is for me, my least favourite of Solondz's films to date, that's relative - this is still better than most of the dreck out there.
Again, not a happy film, very intense and smack-in-the-face real with some harsh truths put out naked on the street. It's divided into two parts - "Fiction" and "Non-Fiction", more like two short films that are connected only vaguely in their main characters' motives, but otherise unique unto themselves.
The first part features an unrecognizable Selma Blair (at least, I didn't realize it was her until the final credits), in a very provocative role (and if I may be PLONT blunt for a sec - we get boobies!), and very delicately unnerving as well.
Part two is longer and features an awkward, socially inept Paul Giamatti in the type of role he's so good at and should patent already. There are some truly heart-rending scenes here, especially with an El Salvadorean housemaid who hates her job in the rich 'burbs, but the more I think about this film, the more I like it (like all of Solondz's work). The abrupt ending was a little much like, "That's it? It's over? Um, oh well, okay....", but effective.
Solondz hasn't disappointed yet, is always breaking new ground, asking the hard questions, laying bare the uneasiness of everyday scruples with point-blank seriousness and dark humour, and is now up there on my fave directors list.

Almost forgot - interesting little cameo from Conan O'Brien as himself!

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