Urban Cinefile
"When he actually bought the rights to the film, his daughter was my age, so I think he was very careful not to corrupt me - "  -Dominique Swain on director Adrian Lyne and making Lolita
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday, October 15, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
A New England reunion over a cold Thanks- giving weekend brings a family together for the first time in three years. The parents, Lena (Blythe Danner) and Hal (Roy Scheider) have differing emotions about the gathering: she's happy to have everyone home while Hal gripes about the whole event, especially concerning son Warren (Noah Wyle) who abruptly left years ago after his relationship with Daphne (Arija Bareikis), the love of his life, ended. Youngest daughter, Leigh (Laurel Holloman) is also present, instantly flirting with Elliot (Brian Kerwin), the psychiatrist husband of her bitter, angry sister, Mia (Julianne Moore). Finally, son Jake (Michael Vartan) and his friendly, outgoing girlfriend Margaret (Hope Davis) arrive. Family tensions and bickering soon erupt and the kids realise that their father is becoming senile. Mia takes up an odd relationship with Cezanne (James Legros), a former kindergarten classmate, while Warren re-establishes his with Daphne. As the weekend progresses, the family does what it can to stay together.

"The so called dysfunctional family is a favourite subject of filmmakers who like to study characters interact on intimate, irrational and highly charged levels. No other unit of human relationship is so dynamic. Nor so challenging for a filmmaker. The dangers are varied: from the complexities of characterisation across generations and gender, to the task of compelling story telling while linking the characters emotionally and genetically. Then comes their linkage to the outside world. All this is so much baggage for a writer and director, that it can outweigh the film’s energy needs. In this case, Bart Freundlich has let himself be outweighed. Suggestions of profound meaning implied by moody silences - basically part and parcel of Freundlich’s character studies of his fictional people - do not make the film dynamic. I ended up by half-time thinking this was just a group of fucked up people, mainly family but their mates are damn near as fucked up, too. And I really didn’t care enough for them to worry about it. The opening scenes of the adult children on their way to the family home, having sex in various situations along the way, seem like interesting propositions – until the film wears on and you realise they were simply scenes Freundlich wanted to write but have no real relevance. You need patience, a very forgiving mood and maybe a new lover to enjoy this."
Andrew L. Urban

Email this article

___________________

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0
___________________

See Paul Fischer's interview in Toronto with
JULIANNE MOORE

THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS (M)
(US)

 

CAST: Noah Wyle, Julianne Moore, Blythe Danner, Roy Scheider

DIRECTOR: Bart Freundlich

PRODUCERS: Mary Jane Skalsi, Tim Perell, Bart Freundlich

SCRIPT: Bart Freundlich

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen Kazmierski

EDITORS: Kate Williams, Ken J. Sackheim

MUSIC: David Bridie and John Phillips

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Susan Bolles

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Globe

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: March 19, 1998







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017